[Betty Edit would like to state that she agrees 100% with Miss Manners' comments in this matter, despite the fact, or possibly because of the fact, that she herself has been the recipient of many standing ovations.]
Dear Miss Manners:
At the end of every performance I have attended over the last few years, the performers have always been honored with a standing ovation. Do you think that the quality of these performances has greatly improved over the last twenty years or the ability of the audience to discriminate between mediocre and the great has been lost?
Miss Manners suspects that the audience is having difficulty discriminating between the robust tradition of judging a performance and the sweet but less thrilling inclination to reward the performers simply for having gotten through it. Unaware that audience response is supposed to render artistic judgment, people now speak of "thanking the performers."
Miss Manners doesn't like to discourage generosity. Nevertheless, she is sorry that this approach has changed the standing ovation from a rare and valued tribute into the equivalent of the tip awarded the taxi driver simply for having completed the trip.