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  1. #81
    Eclectic, favorite...

  2. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by Reilly View Post
    I really like the words "you're welcome". And what I've noticed is that *hardly anybody* uses the phrase any more. As in, nobody. Listen to any radio or TV interview, and the host thanks the guest for coming on and being interviewed, and the guest *almost never* says "you're welcome." The guest says "thank you" in return or "glad to be here" or some such. Or, if you ever find yourself on a multi-party conference call, the host will say 'thank you' at the end followed by a chorus of 'thank you's' -- I like to throw in my one "you're welcome."

    It's started to really bug me how nobody says "you're welcome" anymore and I notice it all the time. It's like we're all now in a game of "thank you" one-upmanship -- "no, no, thank you".
    I get your perspective, but tend to agree with JNORT's take on this one in most situations. "You're welcome" has a tendency to flip the power dynamic between the listener (who just thanked someone) and the speaker. It implies that the sense of being welcome, or the ability to feel at ease and not indebted for what was just delivered, is within the power of the speaker to bestow upon the hearer. In your TV interviewer/interviewee situation, that is right and proper; the interviewer is thanking the interviewee for taking the time out of their busy schedule to do something they're not obligated in any way to do. So there, yes, "You're welcome" (to my time, which I voluntarily gave to you) sounds right.

    However, far and away the more common interaction where "Thank you" is heard is customer/service individual. When the customer, who is supposedly in the more powerful position in that interaction, says "Thanks," it's just a courtesy and good manners. In reality, unless the employee in one of these situations goes above and beyond any normal expectation of service, the power dynamic would normally indicate that we don't need to thank them at all. But we do (why we do could be yet another separate thread), which forces a response. That response should reinforce the customer/server power dynamic, not flip it around.

    "You're welcome" in a situation where, say, I just thanked someone for handing me my cup of coffee, implies that the speaker of the "You're welcome" had the power to either make me, the customer, feel welcomed to the product I just bought, or not. In reality, though, the moment the customer hands over cash or credit card or the setting (sitting down in a restaurant, for instance) implies that they will at the end of the transaction, they have all the permission they should need to feel welcomed to the product or service they're paying for.

    I think a lot of people feel this subconsciously, which is why so many assiduously avoid saying "You're welcome." If spoken with the slightest unintentional curtness, or in any but a properly deferential sounding, service-oriented, sweet toned lilt, it can be taken wrong. Sometimes you'll hear a very nice waitperson say "Oh, you're very welcome!" in a cheery, deferential way that carries a subtext of "It's such a pleasure to serve you, as you're a wonderful person who deserves the best!" It's an overcompensation for the danger of being taken as either condescending or snotty for making a statement that traditionally implies that the speaker is the one in the power position. "You're welcome" if at all brusquely spoken, or with the accent on the "wel" being just a little too strong, can too easily sound like "You should be thanking me, you ungrateful s.o.b."

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by freshmanjs View Post
    There is a corporate thing where people switch verbs and nouns. I hate it. Examples:

    - What's the solve for that
    - Solution the problem
    - What's the unlock for that?
    - I have a very simple ask for you
    i.e., "Google it?"

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    i.e., "Google it?"
    Work the problem people, work the problem.

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    I get your perspective, but tend to agree with JNORT's take on this one in most situations. "You're welcome" has a tendency to flip the power dynamic between the listener (who just thanked someone) and the speaker. It implies that the sense of being welcome, or the ability to feel at ease and not indebted for what was just delivered, is within the power of the speaker to bestow upon the hearer. In your TV interviewer/interviewee situation, that is right and proper; the interviewer is thanking the interviewee for taking the time out of their busy schedule to do something they're not obligated in any way to do. So there, yes, "You're welcome" (to my time, which I voluntarily gave to you) sounds right.

    However, far and away the more common interaction where "Thank you" is heard is customer/service individual. When the customer, who is supposedly in the more powerful position in that interaction, says "Thanks," it's just a courtesy and good manners. In reality, unless the employee in one of these situations goes above and beyond any normal expectation of service, the power dynamic would normally indicate that we don't need to thank them at all. But we do (why we do could be yet another separate thread), which forces a response. That response should reinforce the customer/server power dynamic, not flip it around.

    "You're welcome" in a situation where, say, I just thanked someone for handing me my cup of coffee, implies that the speaker of the "You're welcome" had the power to either make me, the customer, feel welcomed to the product I just bought, or not. In reality, though, the moment the customer hands over cash or credit card or the setting (sitting down in a restaurant, for instance) implies that they will at the end of the transaction, they have all the permission they should need to feel welcomed to the product or service they're paying for.

    I think a lot of people feel this subconsciously, which is why so many assiduously avoid saying "You're welcome." If spoken with the slightest unintentional curtness, or in any but a properly deferential sounding, service-oriented, sweet toned lilt, it can be taken wrong. Sometimes you'll hear a very nice waitperson say "Oh, you're very welcome!" in a cheery, deferential way that carries a subtext of "It's such a pleasure to serve you, as you're a wonderful person who deserves the best!" It's an overcompensation for the danger of being taken as either condescending or snotty for making a statement that traditionally implies that the speaker is the one in the power position. "You're welcome" if at all brusquely spoken, or with the accent on the "wel" being just a little too strong, can too easily sound like "You should be thanking me, you ungrateful s.o.b."
    You lampshaded a relevant topic in your comment: as a customer, do you thank your server? If payment, or a setting that implies future payment, is sufficient to entitle a customer to a service, then why thank the server? Are you truly grateful to a server who simply performs the service for which you are paying? Why? Does service, or a setting that implies future payment for service, entitle a server to your money? Should the server thank you for your patronage or payment?

    If the power dynamic of the customer-server relationship is central here, I see a different breakdown of that dynamic. First, your statement implies that someone saying "Thank you" is the more powerful in an interaction. Often, however, we say "Thank you" because someone has done something for us that we could, or choose, not to do for ourselves. If anything, the one thanking is the less powerful in an interaction; but for the service rendered, his or her need would still be unmet. Second, both the customer and server provide something to which the other would not be entitled, but for the conduct of the other. From your restaurant example: without earning your payment with service, the server has no right to your money. Similarly, you would not get very far if you tried to walk back into the kitchen and take a plate of food without either paying or engaging in behavior that implied future payment. I don't see much of a distinction between the power status of the two; if anything, both parties have reason to be grateful, and therefore reason to thank the other. I don't see "You're welcome" as changing any power dynamic because the playing field appears to be level and the communication seems appropriate for both parties: "I am grateful for what you have done" followed by "Do not feel indebted, be at ease." I would also tangentially suggest that this level playing field is part of the reason why "Thank you" is often made its own response. In the talk show example, it would be "Thank you for coming on the show" and "Thank you for inviting me". "You're welcome" or some analogue could preface such a response, but the mirrored response makes a bit more sense if the power dynamic is understood to be more level.

    All that being said: I was taught growing up that it was polite to say "You're welcome" if someone says "Thank you", and I tend to do so out of habit. "No problem" or "No worries" seem fine, too, along the lines "It was no bother" or "Don't mention it," if the de nada or du rien examples upthread were unpersuasive. Not as formal, certainly, but they seem mostly in line with "Do not feel indebted, be at ease."

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Elon, NC
    I have a nephew who's about 30 and he uses the word "like" about three times in each sentence. Makes me want to shake him and yell STOP!!!
    Tom Mac

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by IrishDevil View Post
    You lampshaded a relevant topic in your comment: as a customer, do you thank your server? If payment, or a setting that implies future payment, is sufficient to entitle a customer to a service, then why thank the server? Are you truly grateful to a server who simply performs the service for which you are paying? Why? Does service, or a setting that implies future payment for service, entitle a server to your money? Should the server thank you for your patronage or payment?

    If the power dynamic of the customer-server relationship is central here, I see a different breakdown of that dynamic. First, your statement implies that someone saying "Thank you" is the more powerful in an interaction. Often, however, we say "Thank you" because someone has done something for us that we could, or choose, not to do for ourselves. If anything, the one thanking is the less powerful in an interaction; but for the service rendered, his or her need would still be unmet. Second, both the customer and server provide something to which the other would not be entitled, but for the conduct of the other. From your restaurant example: without earning your payment with service, the server has no right to your money. Similarly, you would not get very far if you tried to walk back into the kitchen and take a plate of food without either paying or engaging in behavior that implied future payment. I don't see much of a distinction between the power status of the two; if anything, both parties have reason to be grateful, and therefore reason to thank the other. I don't see "You're welcome" as changing any power dynamic because the playing field appears to be level and the communication seems appropriate for both parties: "I am grateful for what you have done" followed by "Do not feel indebted, be at ease." I would also tangentially suggest that this level playing field is part of the reason why "Thank you" is often made its own response. In the talk show example, it would be "Thank you for coming on the show" and "Thank you for inviting me". "You're welcome" or some analogue could preface such a response, but the mirrored response makes a bit more sense if the power dynamic is understood to be more level.

    All that being said: I was taught growing up that it was polite to say "You're welcome" if someone says "Thank you", and I tend to do so out of habit. "No problem" or "No worries" seem fine, too, along the lines "It was no bother" or "Don't mention it," if the de nada or du rien examples upthread were unpersuasive. Not as formal, certainly, but they seem mostly in line with "Do not feel indebted, be at ease."
    "Do not feel indebted, be at ease" has a nice ring to it.

    I wonder how it sounds in Dothraki.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    For what it's worth, and I imagine it's not worth much, in Japanese there are also two common ways of saying, in essence, "you're welcome." The more formal of these is "doitashimashite," which, literally interpreted, means "what have I done?" (meaning "I have done nothing"). Informally, they say "nandemo nai," which literally means "it is nothing," or, even more literally, " it is not something."
    Then again, in Japanese culture it is considered rude to accept a compliment.
    "I like your tie."
    "This old thing? It's garbage."

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    ... If spoken with the slightest unintentional curtness, or in any but a properly deferential sounding, service-oriented, sweet toned lilt, it can be taken wrong. ... "You're welcome" if at all brusquely spoken, or with the accent on the "wel" being just a little too strong, can too easily sound like "You should be thanking me, you ungrateful s.o.b."
    I disagree with (or more accurately, have a different perception of) a lot of what you wrote about above, but I agree with this. Tone and genuine-ness matter, a lot. That's why I say "you're welcome" a bit slower, and as friendly as possible. We're at a full stop in the conversation. And we're at a good place.

    What bugs me about the, in effect, "oh no, thank you" rejoinder is that it rushes on to the next thing, and it makes the second speaker grab the power mantle.

    As for "No problem" -- that comes off, to me, as disinterested young-person speak, by one who cannot bother to be trifling with manners.

  10. #90
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    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post
    For what it's worth, and I imagine it's not worth much, in Japanese there are also two common ways of saying, in essence, "you're welcome." The more formal of these is "doitashimashite," which, literally interpreted, means "what have I done?" (meaning "I have done nothing"). Informally, they say "nandemo nai," which literally means "it is nothing," or, even more literally, " it is not something."
    Then again, in Japanese culture it is considered rude to accept a compliment.
    "I like your tie."
    "This old thing? It's garbage."
    I think “de rien” in Fench is “it is nothing” or “of nothing.”

    “No worries” is AFAIK an Aussie response.

    I take it as a humble way of taking thanks without taking thanks, if that makes sense.
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post
    ... in Japanese there are also two common ways of saying, in essence, "you're welcome." The more formal of these is "doitashimashite," which, literally interpreted, means "what have I done?" (meaning "I have done nothing"). Informally, they say "nandemo nai," which literally means "it is nothing," or, even more literally, " it is not something."
    Then again, in Japanese culture it is considered rude to accept a compliment.
    "I like your tie."
    "This old thing? It's garbage."
    Interesting. At UNC, there are two common ways of getting, in essence, an A in Swahili. The more formal of these is "attending class" which, literally interpreted, means "showing up at 10:35 am for a 10 am class and smiling at the teacher." Informally, they "register" for a class, which literally means "doing nothing" or, even more literally, "doing less than nothing (because someone else registers for them." Then again, with the Carolina Way, it is considered rude to deny someone eligibility.
    "Impressive -- you're a college graduate!"
    "Yep, it was a lot of work, and we're better than Duke."

  12. #92
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    Feb 2007
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    New Jersey
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    "Do not feel indebted, be at ease" has a nice ring to it.

    I wonder how it sounds in Dothraki.
    Someone mentioned up thread, "My pleasure." That's nicer than "No problem" to my ears. "My pleasure" sounds like "I'm happy to do it" whereas "No problem" sounds like "Meh, it really didn't put me out to help you." I'd be happy with "My pleasure" as a substitute to "You're welcome."
    Rich
    "Failure is Not a Destination"
    Coach K on the Dan Patrick Show, December 22, 2016

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada (Ohio born and raised)
    Millennial here. I use “no problem” or “no problem at all” almost 100% of the time. To me, it is more personal and more polite. If someone at work asks me to do something and then thanks me later, it’s no problem. As in, we are a team and please come to me with anything you need because it is no problem for me to get it done. “You’re welcome” makes it seem like I went out of my way to help you and I am glad that you thanked me. Even if I did go out of my way and it was a ton of work, I want people to know I am a team player and will always lend a hand without expecting anything in return.

    I saw this posted on social media awhile back and it kind of sums up my feelings towards it.
    “‘No problem’, coming from a millennial’s mouth, within the context of helping someone – whether it be holding a door open/picking up something someone may have dropped/etc. – and, naturally, being thanked for it, implies that the kind gesture was indeed, not a problem, that it was just the thing to do, that they were happy to help and that no thanks was really necessary.
    While a Baby Boomer’s 'You’re welcome’ in contrast, says something miles different, it actually highlights the fact that the person went out of their way to help someone; almost brings attention to it in a way, saying 'Yeah, I helped you, I did you this favor I accept your thanks.’ which, malicious intent or not, is strikingly different than the millennial downplay of their act of kindness for the sake of helping someone.”

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by LasVegas View Post
    Millennial here. I use “no problem” or “no problem at all” almost 100% of the time. To me, it is more personal and more polite ...
    I often perceive "no problem" as impersonal and less polite b/c I hear it said in an off-hand, rushed, disinterested way. "No problem at all" is world's better than "no problem" as it acknowledges the humanity of the "thank you" speaker.

    I don't know why I didn't think to check Miss Manners on this (Judith Martin of The Washington Post is a witty, astute commentator on the human condition):

    Her take:

    DEAR MISS MANNERS -- When someone does something for me I say "thank you" to them, and I have noted some younger people respond by saying "no problem." Is the response "no problem" an appropriate response to my "thank you"? I personally find the term "no problem" to be negative and inappropriate.

    What is an appropriate response for me when someone responds to my "thank you" with "no problem"?

    GENTLE READER -- It does not require an answer, but it does require an adjustment.

    It is true that the traditional response to "thank you" is, in English, "you're welcome." In some languages, it is an equally traditional declaration that there was nothing for which to thank -- a version of "no problem," which slipped into common American discourse a decade or so ago.

    Mind you, Miss Manners is not crazy about this sort of messing around with the conventions. Once people stop using polite expressions automatically, they start analyzing them and, often as not, attributing unpleasant motivations. And although "no problem" grates on her as well as you, she knows it is not ill meant.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...101905057.html
    Last edited by Reilly; 05-24-2018 at 04:55 AM.

  15. #95
    A word I like but may not understand is "droll". I've always understood it to mean a sort of dry wit. And it's used to mean that, but the original (and perhaps only) definition is amusingly odd, whimsically comical, or buffoonish. http://grammarist.com/usage/droll/

    In the post above, I first used "droll" to describe Miss Manners, given her dry wit, but then replaced droll with "witty."

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Holy cow. I've never given much thought to no problem/you're welcome. Generally, I alternate between a few phrases.

    No problem
    No problem at all
    You're welcome
    My pleasure
    Don't mention it

    I'm likely forgetting a few.

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Someone mentioned up thread, "My pleasure." That's nicer than "No problem" to my ears. "My pleasure" sounds like "I'm happy to do it" whereas "No problem" sounds like "Meh, it really didn't put me out to help you." I'd be happy with "My pleasure" as a substitute to "You're welcome."
    As … you … wish …


    Thank you for bringing that up. Reading that, I realize my use of "my pleasure" has declined as "no problem" has ascended. Time to reverse the trend.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by BD80 View Post
    As … you … wish …

    You keep using that word . . . .

    (“You must spread comments around,” yada yada yada)
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Brooklet, GA
    It's not a word... but I'm really hating the current trend where people end every sentence by raising the pitch of the last wORD. It's like every sentence is a quEstION. I really wish they wouldn't do thAT. Do you know what I mEAN?

    I'm hearing it from 8th graders to soccer Moms these days and it grates on my nerves. Where did that originate?

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    Quote Originally Posted by jacone21 View Post
    It's not a word... but I'm really hating the current trend where people end every sentence by raising the pitch of the last wORD. It's like every sentence is a quEstION. I really wish they wouldn't do thAT. Do you know what I mEAN?

    I'm hearing it from 8th graders to soccer Moms these days and it grates on my nerves. Where did that originate?
    It's teenage speak, and mostly teenage girl speak, and I think it peaked about 5-8 years ago, to be honest. In other words, I heard it a lot more back then than I do now.

    In those days I actually had to take individual medical students aside and tell them that they needed to focus on not speaking like that when presenting patients on rounds because it made them sound childish and unprofessional. They seemed shocked. Most of them had no idea that they spoke like that, and had never really made a declarative statement in their entire lives.
    A plane takes off from Baltimore and touches down on Bourbon Street

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