Can't Find a Category For This!

December 30, 2010

Please, Thank You, and You're Welcome

Since when did "No Problem" become the stock response for Thank You? I ask you this. If you're my generation or the one ahead, you may have thought this through yourself.

We're at a restaurant last night - whole family - Italian. It's busy. I'm a pretty courteous person, so I proffer a lot of "thank you" mentions to our waitress as she keeps us stocked with water, milk, bread (lots and lots of bread for those growing boys), napkins, what-have-you. Every response is a gleaming-teethed (albeit enthusiastic), "no problem!"

Well, yippee. Glad my family and I are not a problem. But that response is the equivalent of "I don't disagree" instead of "I agree." Or perhaps a proclamation at dinner, "That's PRETTY good" (instead of good). It's a step down the ladder in friendliness - same number of syllables as "you're welcome," but the "no problem" is glib and puts the emphasis on the sayer instead of the receiver. And I'm not sure when it overtook the more friendly "you're welcome." But this isn't by any means the first time I've noticed it.

So I looked it up. It's not just me noticing this:

1) Yahoo! syndicated content from Nancy Tracy in 2008. She echoes the same idea.
2) The Boston Globe - Erin McKean - 2009.

There's more of the same out there, but those two are the first I saw.

I'm old; I'm my own problem, and I have a communication degree. :)


Posted by hln at 02:53 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack