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(CBS News)   "When did everyone born after 1980 decide that "No problem" was interchangeable with "You're welcome"? Who spread that virus? The Taliban?"   (cbsnews.com) divider line 332
    More: Stupid, Taliban, virus  
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8871 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jun 2013 at 1:59 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-19 02:46:28 PM

Aidan: R.A.Danny: Aidan: R.A.Danny: I still think that if someone does something for profit and I pay for it they should thank me. Is that all that old fashioned? That goes for the pretty young lady at Starbucks to my Cisco rep who just got a $235,000 PO from me.

Cool. What'd you buy? Too cheap to be a switch, too expensive to be phones - does Cisco even sell phones? Ah, apparently they do. Weird.

/totally nosey

We are refreshing the switches and routers for some of our satellite offices.

So I'm paying about half for equipment and the rest for smartnet.

And we DO have Cisco phones.

Sweet! We never get new, so I'm all excited about someone elses' Christmases. :)


HAHAHAHA! We did a cost analysis of what a network failure actually costs us. We rarely get any grief about our budget anymore, especially because we really are very responsible about costs.
 
2013-06-19 02:48:33 PM

wallywam1: FTGodWin: NkThrasher: Everyone has their stupid grammar peeves.  ...

Mine is people who get all bent out of shape believing that words have distinct meanings.

I'm like, duuuuuuude, they're ALL MADE UP. GET OVER IT!

I remember noting back in 5th grade English, that there is nothing coherent in the rules about grammar or word usage. Every freakin' day was merely learning yet another exception to some "rule."

My fourth grade teacher would go off when people said "ain't". She would say, "That word is a contraction. Are you trying to say 'ai not'?"

It didn't occur to me at the time that the word "won't", by her logic, would mean "wo not". If I ever invent a time machine, my first priority will be to go back and deliver a nice zinger. Then may I'll go back and kill Hitler or something.


I was taught "ain't" was the contraction for "are not"  and "won't" was the contraction for "would not"...I did grow up in El Paso, TX so that may be why....
 
2013-06-19 02:48:42 PM

bglove25: mama2tnt: ikanreed: "'No problem' communicates there was a problem but 'you're welcome' in no way implies its opposite by being said"
--old idiot, so afraid of change that replacing a no-meaning conversation filling phrase with another no-meaning conversation-filling phrase is the biggest deal

When people say "no problem" they aren't aware that this old man is a problem.

Hate it when servers call everyone at my table "You guys" when we're all female. Why is this okay?

Because there's no single syllable slang term for women? Or at least that socially acceptable or polite.


biatchez don't like "biatchez."
 
2013-06-19 02:48:57 PM

sboyle1020: Haha...interestingly enough I just read an article that said males don't fully mature until they're 43, so he's got some time.


That's good to hear since I'm a 41-year-old, man-child wondering when the hell I'll finally grow up. Sweet, two more years to f*ck off.
 
2013-06-19 02:49:32 PM

NkThrasher: It isn't "yours".


Neither do you own your mother or father. "Your" and "my" convey more than simple possession, as you wrongly imply.
 
2013-06-19 02:50:58 PM
"Obey and worship me, retail slave, for I am a member of the baby boomer generation, and we have absorbed all wealth.  Watch as a drape my excessive girth at this table, and use only the words I grant you permission to"

//Not actually taking part in my generation's collective poverty.
 
2013-06-19 02:53:00 PM

FTGodWin: bglove25: mama2tnt: ikanreed: "'No problem' communicates there was a problem but 'you're welcome' in no way implies its opposite by being said"
--old idiot, so afraid of change that replacing a no-meaning conversation filling phrase with another no-meaning conversation-filling phrase is the biggest deal

When people say "no problem" they aren't aware that this old man is a problem.

Hate it when servers call everyone at my table "You guys" when we're all female. Why is this okay?

Because there's no single syllable slang term for women? Or at least that socially acceptable or polite.

biatchez don't like "biatchez."


and c units is just right out
 
2013-06-19 02:53:11 PM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: De nada


That.  It's most likely appropriated from Mexican-dialect Spanish.
 
2013-06-19 02:53:13 PM

eas81: wallywam1: FTGodWin: NkThrasher: Everyone has their stupid grammar peeves.  ...

Mine is people who get all bent out of shape believing that words have distinct meanings.

I'm like, duuuuuuude, they're ALL MADE UP. GET OVER IT!

I remember noting back in 5th grade English, that there is nothing coherent in the rules about grammar or word usage. Every freakin' day was merely learning yet another exception to some "rule."

My fourth grade teacher would go off when people said "ain't". She would say, "That word is a contraction. Are you trying to say 'ai not'?"

It didn't occur to me at the time that the word "won't", by her logic, would mean "wo not". If I ever invent a time machine, my first priority will be to go back and deliver a nice zinger. Then may I'll go back and kill Hitler or something.

I was taught "ain't" was the contraction for "are not"  and "won't" was the contraction for "would not"...I did grow up in El Paso, TX so that may be why....


"Won't" = "will not."
/"Would not" becomes "wouldn't."
//At least, that's what this old lady was taught.
 
2013-06-19 02:53:36 PM

bglove25: FTGodWin: bglove25: mama2tnt: ikanreed: "'No problem' communicates there was a problem but 'you're welcome' in no way implies its opposite by being said"
--old idiot, so afraid of change that replacing a no-meaning conversation filling phrase with another no-meaning conversation-filling phrase is the biggest deal

When people say "no problem" they aren't aware that this old man is a problem.

Hate it when servers call everyone at my table "You guys" when we're all female. Why is this okay?

Because there's no single syllable slang term for women? Or at least that socially acceptable or polite.

biatchez don't like "biatchez."

and c units is just right out


Layyyydeeeeeez... *waggling eyebrows*
 
2013-06-19 02:54:12 PM
img.fark.net
 
2013-06-19 02:54:17 PM

Land Ark: I have also noticed that most of my coworkers between 24 and 35 have started saying "All right"

aight instead of saying "Good bye."

/FTFY
 
2013-06-19 02:56:34 PM
I catch myself saying "no problem" a lot.  I was born in '78, and I grew up hearing a lot of people much older than myself saying "no problem" in lieu of "thank you".  I have...

img.fark.net

...no problem with that.

/YEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!
 
2013-06-19 02:56:35 PM

James F. Campbell: NkThrasher: It isn't "yours".

Neither do you own your mother or father. "Your" and "my" convey more than simple possession, as you wrongly imply.


You possess the relationship to them.  You aren't saying  that the person is your property when you speak of possession of a relationship.  You don't have possession of your job, but you do have possession of the relationship between you and your employer (another possessed relationship).

You have no relationship to that degree until you complete its requirements.  You have a relationship to a degree program "My program is X", you have a relationship with a professor "My professor of X is Y", you have no relationship to the degree you are seeking however.
 
2013-06-19 02:56:43 PM

Gecko Gingrich: I thought Andy Rooney was dead.


+1
 
2013-06-19 02:57:13 PM
If you have a problem with "no problem", then it's time to jump on the trolley, Charlie.
 
2013-06-19 02:57:38 PM
CBS: the network for old people.
 
2013-06-19 02:58:09 PM

Mr.Hawk: [img.fark.net image 300x300]



I LOL'd.
 
2013-06-19 02:59:26 PM
"No problem" just doesn't sound right to me if it's in response to someone thanking you for ordinary, expected service. If you've caused someone extra work, and they really don't mind, then I think "no problem" is appropriate.
 
2013-06-19 03:00:49 PM
Using 'no problem.'?

Ain't no thang bruh.
 
2013-06-19 03:00:56 PM
The culprit was Theo Huxtable. It comes from the classic scene in The Cosby Show pilot when Cliff teaches young Theo about money using Monopoly money. Theo keeps telling Cliff "No problem" when being told about how little money he would have as "regular people." Theo would continue to say "no problem" throughout the first season, Claire especially hated it.

It was Theo.
 
2013-06-19 03:01:18 PM
I prefer "Uh huh."

Thanks!
Uh huh.
 
2013-06-19 03:01:45 PM
What a douche.

/Born in the late 70s and have always said, "No Problem"
 
2013-06-19 03:02:22 PM

eas81: Subs and the Author should never work in the I/T field: "np" "no problem" "no worries" "anytime" are all common terms. This "Your Welcome" you speak of what is that?

/Do the needful


and yw, you're welcome, you are welcome are used in order of how much your request angered me.
 
2013-06-19 03:02:49 PM

frepnog: i am bringing back "groovy".


Peachy keen!
 
2013-06-19 03:04:27 PM

frepnog: i am bringing back "groovy".

/ewj


Really cool man.
 
2013-06-19 03:04:29 PM

Bell's Boy: I prefer "No worries" to either. As far as "No problem" goes, I think it goes back to Ah-nold in Terminator 2.


FTA:Saturday night, I took my wife to a good restaurant. The waitress asked if we wanted sparkling water, still water, or tap water. I said, "Tap water, please." She said, "No problem."

"No problem" dates back to 1963, and (as a response to being thanked)  is essentially the same construction as "It was nothing" or "Think nothing of it" (which dates back to the 1940s).  So much for his "born after 1980" nonsense.  It's a cooperative politeness strategy to help the person thanking you by retroactively minimizing the imposition of the request.

So in the example he gave, the waitress saying "no problem" was a negative politeness strategy to help him minimize imposition (or to reassure him that he had done so).

In short, the guy's wrong, he's lazy (because he could have Googled all this for himself in five minutes), and he wrote his diatribe because feels smugly superior to people about a topic he actually knows nothing.  Your typical Grammar Nazi, in other words.

tl;dr What's his Fark handle?
 
2013-06-19 03:04:59 PM

Andromeda: A very nice young man who worked for me used to have a little trouble getting in on time. Like, every day. Once a week I would say, "Look, you really have to be at your desk at 10 o'clock." Did he say, "Sorry, I'll try to do better?"

No. He would just smile and say, "No problem."

That nice young man does not work for me anymore.
So wait, the guy was fired for saying "no problem" or because he was always late?

/author of TFA better never visit Australia, lest he discover "no worries"


And whoever said that used 'like' as if she were a twelve year old girl. I don't know what's worse.
 
2013-06-19 03:06:48 PM
Meh, it all depends on the situation. In a casual environment "no problem" or "no worries" is usually ok. In a business environment or more formal situation, speak correctly. If I'm at some dive bar drinking $3.50 drafts and I get a "no problem" I haven't got an issue. If I'm at the bank and I get a flippant "no problem" I start to wonder what else they're being flippant about and are they screwing up my money.
 
2013-06-19 03:07:07 PM

I May Be Crazy But...: SoupJohnB: vpb: Those young whipper snappers need to start talking like we did back in the day and then get off of my lawn!

I called my own father-in-law "Sir."  Now my son-in-law calls me "Dude."  Which is ok by me.

/nobody calls me "Mr. Lebowski," man

Ha! My father-in-law told me in no uncertain terms to quit calling him "sir". I'm slowly getting used to it.

Slowly being the operative word.


Wise strategy.  I'll venture a guess that he wasn't playing bass in a band at a concert, and introduced to you offstage during a break.

/cool story, bro

/csb
 
2013-06-19 03:08:19 PM
Know how I know this guys hasn't had sex in years?
 
2013-06-19 03:09:28 PM

Secret Agent X23: I'm a pre-1980 person, but "no problem" doesn't, and has never, bothered me in the slightest.

I will say, however, that when I first started hearing "You're good," it rubbed me the wrong way: "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll get out of your way." "No, you're good." Grrr. But I've long ago gotten over it. Whatever.


What exactly is the problem with "You're good"?  Is it a question of an adverb versus an adjective (i.e., "You're fine" would be better?), does it merely seem to casual, is it because it's an Americanism, or is there some other issue?

Do you have the same objection to "I'm good" to mean "I don't need anything" or "No, thank you"?
 
2013-06-19 03:10:20 PM
Don't mention it, subby.

/all good
 
2013-06-19 03:10:23 PM
"Thank you" has become to be a contest of superiority at times(or maybe it was to start with, but that comes later, I'll explain it first).

Since X is doing what Y cannot or will not, Y is compelled to make up for that shortcoming by saying "Thanks", implying that X went way out of his way and did a lot of work at the bidding of Y.

The natural response to that is to say, "You're welcome, but it was no problem, you didn't put me out in the slightest." to equalize that power struggle.

The phrases go both ways, they're both good comforting manners and also a power struggle.

Most people are told to say please, thank you, and you're welcome, etc, but never really understand why, dont even know how to examine it.  It's a rule, so they follow it, and hence come up to have certain likes and dislikes, based on the arbitrary rules they're taught.

I never really understood the concept as it applies to our phrases til now, but it's very relevant to some far east cultures that practice humility as one-upsmanship.  The one serving the tea, or admitting to ignorance is the clear winner.

It's the clashing of different cultures really, where they believe the power is or are taught to place it.  Domination vs Subservience.

It worked for the far east especially because the common people see lords fighting to serve each other, and of course they are comforted that their entire lives are based on serving others, they're taught that there is nothing wrong with serving, so it is ok that they do it.  Really an interesting structure in that it can be very very stable over the ages, it does not beget conflict, and it inspires cleverness.
 
2013-06-19 03:13:56 PM

mama2tnt: Could we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get rid of "Oh, you're fine" as the only answer to "Excuse me"?

I'm about to go off on the next person who's in my farking way and, when I ask to pass them with an "Excuse me" answers as if it were my fault in the first place.

/"I'm 'fine'? Well, isn't that nice of you, dear, but I'm afraid you're not my type, so take that elsewhere."


You excuse yourself to others, they acknowledge your excuse by stating that it is not bothering them, and your response is to get mad at them? Why don't you try using appropriate language when you want someone else to do something, rather than excusing yourself?
 
2013-06-19 03:14:35 PM

unyon: Aarontology: SOMEONE IS BEING POLITE IN A WAY DIFFERENT THAN HOW I EXPRESS POLITENESS.

The question is whether its polite at all. I don't think 'uh huh' is a reasonable substitute for "you're welcome" either.

/Canadian
//we're funny like that


It's not,the question, actually. The question is why some people cannot accept that language and expressions change, and what's the bees knees now may just be a bunch of hokum later on.
 
2013-06-19 03:16:59 PM

exick: When did everyone born after 1980 decide that "No problem" was interchangeable with "You're welcome"? Who spread that virus? The Taliban?

Listen, today's young people: If you want to infuriate someone born before 1980, just keep telling him "No problem" when they ask you to do something that is most certainly NOT a problem.

I don't understand how these two things are related. The first is a different response to being thanked, the second is affirmation that you understand the instruction and are willing to do as asked. I find it hard to believe that an author would be so enraged by colloquial English niceties that may have drifted past their origins and are no longer meant literally. Does this person expect to be peppered with an inventory of things that exist over the head of the person that he may say "What's up?" to? Of course not, because who walks around with pepper in their pockets all the time?



I THINK the issue, based on what he said in TFA, is that he THINKS when a person says "no problem" they're agreeing to do what he asked as if they had a choice and had made a decision.  As in the case with the waitress saying "no problem" he THINKS that response implies that she considered refusing, then decided it was a small enough matter that she would grudgingly accede.

And I can see, then, why he gets angry.  If you THOUGHT "no problem" was grudging agreement, that the person saying it was expressing resentment or reluctance ("I'm only agreeing to do what you asked because it was a small favor -- if you had asked for anything more, I would have said 'no'."), then yes, feeling angry or resentful when someone said "No problem" would make sense.

It would be totally wrong, of course, but it would be consistent with your mistaken assumption.
 
2013-06-19 03:18:18 PM
I find that "ain't no thing but a chicken wing" works well in most situations.
 
2013-06-19 03:20:43 PM
 It's like when people say "Bye" or "Goodbye" instead of the more historically proper, "God Be With Ye".  I farking hate that!! Totes.
 
2013-06-19 03:21:00 PM

R.A.Danny: Why do we thank people for providing service for pay anyway? They should be thanking us for the money.


Because it's a polite fiction that they aren't being nice to you MERELY because you are paying them money.  The social fiction is that you are two people being nice to each other because that's what nice, friendly people do when they meet.

I don't agree with Heinlein about much, but in this case I think he said it best:

Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untravelled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them. No matter how "pure" their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.
 
2013-06-19 03:22:17 PM
If someone says "no problem" to me, I take that literally.
That means, to cite one of the examples, if you say "no problem" to lending me $10,000, then I will ask you for money again and again until you reply with something more plausible, like, "Well, it was a little strain on the budget, but you've been a great friend over the years, so I was happy to have the chance to help you out."
 
2013-06-19 03:22:55 PM

ciberido: Secret Agent X23: I'm a pre-1980 person, but "no problem" doesn't, and has never, bothered me in the slightest.

I will say, however, that when I first started hearing "You're good," it rubbed me the wrong way: "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll get out of your way." "No, you're good." Grrr. But I've long ago gotten over it. Whatever.

What exactly is the problem with "You're good"?  Is it a question of an adverb versus an adjective (i.e., "You're fine" would be better?), does it merely seem to casual, is it because it's an Americanism, or is there some other issue?


Well, as I said, it doesn't bother me anymore and hasn't for a long time. And just now I had to think about it for a couple of minutes to figure out exactly what bothered me about it back when it did. I think I took it as a sort of implication that if the other person had wanted or needed me to move out of the way (or whatever condition would have made "You're good" an unsuitable reply), it would have meant that I was somehow been "not good." That is to say, defective or something.

I'll point out, though, that I never wrote a farking article complaining about it.


Do you have the same objection to "I'm good" to mean "I don't need anything" or "No, thank you"?

No. Totally different, as you would probably infer from my above explanation.
 
2013-06-19 03:23:40 PM

Huck And Molly Ziegler: If someone says "no problem" to me, I take that literally.
That means, to cite one of the examples, if you say "no problem" to lending me $10,000, then I will ask you for money again and again until you reply with something more plausible, like, "Well, it was a little strain on the budget, but you've been a great friend over the years, so I was happy to have the chance to help you out."


Really?  That is how you would interpret "No problem" in that situation?  Really?
 
2013-06-19 03:25:56 PM

ciberido: Because it's a polite fiction that they aren't being nice to you MERELY because you are paying them money.


I don't think it is fiction at all. I think the flow of money dictates who gets thanked, and both parties should be happy with the transaction. I do not find saying "Thank you" to be a humbling experience, but an acknowledgement that they are happy with the transaction where they profited. As a customer, the supplier of said money (with a tip when appropriate) I do expect to have my side of the transaction acknowledged as well. It's just polite.
 
2013-06-19 03:27:50 PM

Gecko Gingrich: Aarontology: SOMEONE IS BEING POLITE IN A WAY DIFFERENT THAN HOW I EXPRESS POLITENESS.

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE

Seriously. I mean, what does "You're welcome" even mean? I'm sure it has some noble roots, that used to go something like, "Thank you for letting me use your serfs," "You are welcome to use them anytime you need to, sir," but that doesn't even translate to what this guy wants, even the modern shorthand.

"Tap water, please."
"You're welcome."

That exchange makes no damn sense.



"You're welcome" as a response to "thank you" only dates back to 1907 and does indeed have the same root as "welcome" as a greeting.  But in both cases the important root is  willa "pleasure, desire, choice."  In all cases it originally meant something like "This happening is in accordance with my will."  Originally, it was conceptually the same as replying to "thank you" with "my pleasure."

I don't really know what you were supposed to say when someone thanked you prior to 1907, but if I had to guess "It was my pleasure" would probably have worked.
 
2013-06-19 03:29:29 PM

ciberido: I don't agree with Heinlein about much, but in this case I think he said it best:


My above statement was really meant to say that I agree, I just worded it poorly. I'm all for both parties enjoying doing business together as well, I will never look down on someone for working.
 
2013-06-19 03:32:26 PM

omeganuepsilon: Since X is doing what Y cannot or will not, Y is compelled to make up for that shortcoming by saying "Thanks", implying that X went way out of his way and did a lot of work at the bidding of Y.

The natural response to that is to say, "You're welcome, but it was no problem, you didn't put me out in the slightest." to equalize that power struggle.


That's pretty much what I came in to say - I'm guilty of the "no problem" reply, but as I think about it now, I really only do it as a gesture of humility when somebody seems overly grateful for something that really took no toll on me to provide, like giving away a piece of furniture that I was going to throw out anyway or something; subconsciously it's like I'm simply turning down a mistakenly awarded badge of kindness, not being dismissive of someone's gratitude.
 
2013-06-19 03:34:58 PM

FrancoFile: I see it as a natural progression from "Not at all", to "Not a problem", to "No problem"

It's "pas de probleme" in French, too.


 Gecko Gingrich: I thought Andy Rooney was dead.

This


IIRC, and this is going way back in the recesses of my brain, "il ne fait rien" is often used for "you're welcome," and loosely translates to, "it was no problem."  (literally, it does nothing).  Of course, that may just be the Quebecios way of saying it.  God, that class was over 20 years ago! :/

I know. CSB.

 But, yes, blame the French.  Googling it shows "pas de probleme" being one of the most common ways of saying "you're welcome."
 
2013-06-19 03:37:51 PM

Gecko Gingrich: unyon: I'm of the believe that shared civilization requires courtesy for humans to live in close quarters

Sure it does, but if I say "Uh huh," (or, "No problem," or, "Certainly,") to you instead of, "You're welcome," after you say to me, "Thank you," I am being polite. I meant it in the exact same way as you would have said, "You're welcome."



I used to get angry when people would type simply "ty" to mean "thank you."  It bothered me because of the lack of effort involved. I felt that, if a person couldn't be bothered to type out at least "thanks" or "thank you," then I'd rather they said nothing whatsoever.  "Ty" seemed less polite than complete silence.  I've gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me anymore, but I can relate to the principle.

In the same way, some people might see "uh hunh" (or maybe "no problem") as too casual, or requiring too little thought or effort, to be truly polite.  All I can really say to that is that manners are fluid: what is perfectly cromulent in one situation might be unacceptable in another.  Know your audience, if making the right impression concerns you.  But, really, that should go both ways: if the problem is, say, a young person talking to an older person who has a more old-fashioned concept of manners, then both sides should make an effort to meet in the middle.


/How about if I say, "Bitte"?

I'm not fluent in German but I would guess that "Bitte" is really just short for "Please don't mention it"  (the word "bitte" is literally "please," yes?).  That would make it just another variation on the "It was nothing" theme, which many European languages have.
 
2013-06-19 03:42:23 PM

RodneyToady: I think of "no problem" as more of a shorthand for "fulfilling your request was not a major inconvenience for me."  Which, by default, makes "You're welcome" more along the lines of, "I acknowledge your acknowledgement that what I did for you should make you feel grateful for my effort."


I don't entirely agree with you, but at the same time, there have been occasions where someone said "thank you" to me, I was about to say "you're welcome," and then decided to respond in some other way because it just felt like "you're welcome" might almost come across as saying "Yes, you SHOULD thank me, because it was a BIG DEAL."

At the time, I had never heard about negative politeness strategies so I couldn't really articulate why I felt that way.  I'm still not sure I'm using the terminology correctly.
 
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