Out of the black hole of phrases that don’t mean anything comes one that has taken us to a tipping point of use/abuse.
Americans are finally waking up to the fact that ‘no problem’ doesn’t really mean anything as more and more choose not to utter the popular phrase.
In a shocking press release, the U.S. Advisory Council on the use of Popular Expressions in America (ACPEA) said ‘No Problem’ a phrase that has become, to some, an annoying, meaningless way to somehow communicate, will be phased out of the lexicon.
Bob Yudernough, spokesperson for the group ‘English as it should be Spoken’ said that “Have a good day is next, believe me.”
‘No’ and ‘Problem’ are the 2 worst words to utter when in customer service. Putting
them together they make no sense at all, as when you say ‘thank you’ and they say ’No Problem!’. Was there ever a problem? No!
Traditionally, we’ve responded with phrases such as ‘you’re welcome’ or ‘my pleasure’ when thanked for a service. It reflects humility on the part of the person being thanked.
The person offering thanks is grateful for the service performed and a gracious “you’re welcome” acknowledges the gratitude.
By saying ‘No Problem,’ the person is actually saying “this act or service did not inconvenience me in any way”. At this point even a polite customer is thinking, “Stick it where the sun don’t shine”.
‘To coin a phrase’ and ‘Jumped the Shark’ have outlived their usefulness. Let’s hope ‘No Problem’ is one of them. If you don’t agree, ‘Talk to the Hand’, ‘Keep your chin up’ and ‘Play it by ear.’
Next time, we’ll talk about the merits of the phrase ‘Your call is important to us’ while you wait…..and wait…..and wait!
With all due respect; whatever!