Posted by: Jack Henry | July 15, 2014

Editor’s Corner: You’re Welcome

I’m not sure if this issue is more appropriate in a grammar column or in Miss Manners, but since I’ve seen this issue come up quite often in grammar blogs and emails, I’ll pass it along to you. The latest iteration is from the “Lederer on Language” column in the San Diego Union-Tribune. (Thank you to Ron F. for hand-delivering the column to my desk each week!)

Dear Mr. Lederer: What’s happened to our society? I think that when someone says, “Thank you,” the proper response should be “You’re welcome,” But all too often we hear “No problem.” I have a problem with “No problem.” Do you?

— Jim Bried, Poway

It does appear that, after hearing a “Thank you,” hardly anyone these days responds, “You’re welcome.” What we usually hear is “Thank YOU” or “No problem.”

I can understand a “Thank YOU” following a “Thank you.” A radio or TV host concludes an interview with “Thank you,” and the guest, wanting to show appreciation, responds, “Thank YOU!”

But, like Jim Bried, I have a problem with “No problem.” [KC – I wonder how they’d feel about the response, “You betcha!”]

At a restaurant, I ask my server for extra lemon for my tea. When he delivers the lemons, I say, “Thank you” — and he says, “No problem.” I want to grab him by the collar and snarl, “Of course it’s no problem! It’s your job!”

If, on the other hand, someone goes a + b the c of d (alphabetically that stands for “above and beyond the call of duty”), I am more accepting.

I was recently in my book booth at a convention and found that I was short on small bills. A kindly women offered $1 and $5 bills for my larger ones, explaining that she always carries small bills for people who need them. To my “Thank you” she said, “No problem.” That was copacetic with me because she had gone a + b the c of d.

For the remainder of the column, about the pesky phrase “you know,” click here:

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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