To What do I owe the pleasure?

Status
Not open for further replies.

drsamehnour

Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
To What do I owe the pleasure?
Is this sentence some sort of allegory?
if so, what does it mean?
 
Last edited:

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Why did you come to see me? What are you doing here? How can I help you?
 

Baffled

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Member Type
Other
To that quivering thing that goes through AA batteries like there is no tomorrow.

I couldn't resist. Please forgive me.
 
Last edited:

BobK

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Location
Spencers Wood, near Reading, UK
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
I'm lost. ;-) Here's the original post again:

To what do I owe the pleasure?
Is this sentence some sort of allegory?
if so, what does it mean?

It means 'Meeting you is a pleasure. Something caused that pleasure [something happened that led to your coming to see me]. What is that thing [to which I owe the pleasure]'

b
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I thought that's what I said, but maybe the original poster thought I was saying those things to him instead of saying they were the answer to his question.

If so, it must have sounded rude, and I apologize for any misunderstanding.
 

thod00

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
To what do I owe the pleasure of this meeting.

Its just polite. Its saying that its a pleasure to meet the other person, together with a query about the reason for the meeting.
 

Searching for language

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Member Type
Other
Native Language
German
Home Country
Germany
Current Location
Canada
The above explanations are correct. However, tone of voice can also make the meaning change.

For example, my teenage son had the habit of sleeping in very late most mornings. If he were to get up early one day, I could say to him: "Oh, to what do I owe the pleasure of seeing you so early?"

That would be a sarcastic expression, not a genuine pleasure.
 

BobK

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Location
Spencers Wood, near Reading, UK
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
:up: This sort of structure is common in sarcasm. For example, fellow-workers in a small branch office may be talking about a visit from Head Office and say 'To what do we owe the honour?' - when they really mean something much less complimentary.

b
 

Baffled

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Member Type
Other
That certainly would give him an incentive to go back to sleep. ;-)

Good point, though!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top