Did you receive an email that said 'Thanks for the information'? What does this phrase mean? In this article, we’ll take a look at the meaning, examples, and more.
In brief, ‘Thanks for the information' is:
‘Thanks for the information’ is a phrase that you can use in an email or letter when you want to acknowledge that you’ve received info that you had asked for or that is required while also expressing gratitude to the sender.
Whether you’ve received information from colleagues, clients, external organizations, or other individuals, it is courteous to send a note that lets the sender know that you are grateful that they passed the information on to you. Beyond that, this phrase indicates that the info has been received, ensuring that there is no confusion about whether or not you received the message.
Though ‘thanks for the information’ is a phrase that we typically associate with communicating through email, it was in use long before humans invented computers.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word ‘thanks’ dates back to the mid-thirteenth century as the plural of ‘thank.’ This comes from an Old English word meaning “gratitude, grateful thought,” which itself evolved from a Proto-Germanic word. It is thought that the Germanic noun derived its meaning as an expansion from “a remembering, a thinking of” to additionally mean “think of with gratitude, remember fondly.”
The use of the word ‘thanks’ as a shorthand for “I give you thanks’ dates back to the 1580s. Over the years, a number of extensions from this phrase have formed, such as ‘thanks a lot.’
Deriving from the Old French word ‘informacion,’ the word ‘information’ comes from the late fourteenth century. This Old French term, meaning “instruction, advice,” itself stemmed from the Latin word ‘informationem,’ meaning “idea, concept, outline.”
The meaning of ‘information’ is defined as:
As technology evolved during the 20th century, the meaning also was used in reference to things like TV broadcast signals, punch-card operating systems, and DNA.
Using the Google Books Ngram Viewer, we see that 'thanks for the information’ has been used as a phrase for far longer than people have been communicating via email.
In The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature For the Year 1771, we find the phrase used back in the 18th century:
“We return your Excellency thanks for the information you have been pleased to give us, that you have reason to expect that the duties which were granted the last session of parliament may be sufficient to answer the expenses of his Majesty’s government and that you are not now to ask for any further supply.”
The 1806 publication Medical Theses, Selected from Among the INaugural Dissertations, Published and Defended By the Graduates in Medicine, of the University of Pennsylvania, and of Other Medical Schools in the United States also includes the phrase ‘thanks for the information’ in line with its current usage:
“Each of the Professors of the University of Pennsylvania will please to accept my thanks for the information I have received from their lectures.”
Another example from the 1700s comes from a publication entitled Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century:
“Not long after Warburton’s return from Cambridge to Neward, Coventry sends him a very civil letter, expressing his thanks for the information he had given him, which he said he now gave a full assent to, and requesting a further favour, viz. a particular information about the hieroglyphic affair.”
In the 1813 text Instructions for Conducting a School Through the Agency of the Scholars Themselves, we see another example of ‘thanks for the information’:
“Dear Sir,-- Permit me to offer you my cordial thanks for the information and pleasure which I have derived from the perusal of your analysis; and, for which I hope to have an early opportunity of repeating my acknowledgments to you in person.”
Thanking someone for the time and effort they took to send you the information you need is the professional and courteous thing to do. You can send this simple note after you’ve received the required information to let the sender know that you appreciate them passing the info along.
‘Thanks for the information’ is a phrase that can stand alone as it is considered a minor sentence. That being said, you can also use it within a larger sentence when there is more information that you want to convey.
How would 'thanks for the information' be used in a sentence, then?
Let’s take a look at some examples, both using the phrase as a minor sentence and as a phrase in a longer sentence:
What are some other words and phrases that have a similar meaning to 'thanks for the information'?
Here are some options:
‘Thanks for the information’ is a way that you can acknowledge that you received information and express gratitude toward the person that sent you the info. This phrase stands along as a minor sentence or can be used as a part of a longer sentence.
Are you ready to learn more English phrases and expand your vocabulary? Be sure to check out our idioms blog for idioms, expressions, sayings, and more!
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