I often think about the words we choose when we congratulate people. I myself like to stick to the following, which are, in my opinion, by far the safest:
"Congratulations." Or sometimes, when I'm feeling daring and actually like the person, I add "That's wonderful!"
The well wishes I have always found the most hilarious are "I wish you all the best" or "I wish you the best."
"ALL THE BEST" Wishing someone all the best is implying that, under normal circumstances, you may not be wishing them a full portion of the best. In fact, should a scientific study be conducted (which I believe it should), I could pretty much guarantee that on a normal day, with no celebratory event in sight, people are not thinking about wishing you all the best, or even a portion of it. They simply don't have the time or energy to make sure that your life is unfolding like a fairy tale all the goddamn time. So, "all the best," actually means, "well, just for this moment you'll get all of it, but don't think you're getting all of it tomorrow. After all, the Saints are playing, and they're going to need just a little bit of that 'best', um-kay?" Should you really wish that "all the best" retain its complete meaning, wrap it in a box and hide it so that the person may not then retract it and send it elsewhere. Of course, then they might start wishing you all the worst, but your secret box beats that, so no worries.
"THE BEST" Thanks for designating just what it is you are wishing me. I was hoping for "the suck," "the moon," or "the banana that has been left in my fridge for far too long." But I'm glad you have carefully thought through all of these things, and landed on something that would make me smile, because it demonstrates that you have chosen well my friend. And I assume by your characterization, the best might be here to stay, unless you need to borrow it back, like the Indian giver that you are.
But of course, the biggest problem with all of these expressions is that the person is only WISHING. That's right, your congratulations has been left to the determination of the stars. It's really very non-committal on the congratulating person's part, especially if given at a moment when the moon is in the wrong position. "Give" me the best, you selfish person. In fact, ALL of it.
You know you're secretly jealous anyway.
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