Friday, September 19, 2008

No Problem: These Words Should Be Banished from Everyone’s Speech

I just renewed my online subscription to Daily Variety (an entertainment industry newspaper) that I have had for several years. Daily Variety is NOT the only game in town, so you would think that the subscription person would take the opportunity to say something along the lines of “we appreciate your continued subscription.”

Okay, I can keep my blood pressure down if I’m not thanked. But when I thanked the subscription person for her help, her reply was “no problem.” And that reply of “no problem” sent me immediately to my computer to let off steam by ranting in this blog.

When will people who use that expression understand that they sound as if they are saying the opposite?

The word “problem” connotes a negative response. Instead of saying “no problem” as if assuring the other person it wasn’t a problem, the reply should be something along the lines of “it was a pleasure” or “I was glad to be able to help.”

These are examples of a positive response that produces a pleasant feeling in the other person rather than the annoying feeling produced by “no problem.”

Let’s all unite to banish “no problem” from the English language!

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nancymkqueen said...

I am fighting some technical battles here on the homefront today. In asking for some assistance, I was given the same- "no problem". Aghghghghghgh
Who started this one anyway?

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

Well said, Nancy.