I have a problem, ironically, with the people who tell me, “no problem.” When someone does me a favor such as open a door, hold an elevator, or help me pick up something I dropped, I always make it a point to say, “thank you.” to which the expected response is “You’re welcome” but instead I get the response of “No problem.” I have a problem with that.
It particularly bothers me when I am in line at a retail store. When I pay for my merchandise and hand the clerk my cash, I wait patiently for my change. When it is given to me (sometimes counted into my hand and sometimes just handed to me in bulk) my response is “Thank you for giving me change from the money I gave you to buy merchandise in your store which I hope was not a problem for you” which I usually trim down to “Thank you.”
For as long as I have been speaking English, which is most of my life after evolving from Gibberish, the anticipated answer to the statement “Thank you” is “You’re welcome” occasionally augmented to become “You’re certainly welcome” or “You’re very welcome”. It should never be “No problem” which implies that sometimes there is a problem and what do they do when that happens? For this reason, I wish to have the phrase “No problem” stricken from the vernacular just as I want the phrase “Have a good one” stricken.
I am a huge advocate of accuracy and think that the more accuracy we have in our lives, the less mistakes will be made. “Have a good one” has no accuracy. Have a good WHAT? Have a good day? Have a good week? Have a good time? Have a good lunch? Have a good sleep? Have a good life? Just tell me what you are wishing I have a good one of, that’s all I’m asking.
So please join me in my crusade to stamp out senseless idioms. From here on in, promise to never take “No problem” as an answer. Tell the offender that you know there’s no problem because you are doing your job and if you are doing your job and if you have a problem with it, you had better come up with alternative employment.
Don’t let anybody tell you to “Have a good one” either. Insist that they be more specific in what they wish. It’s not hard to do and it makes your greeting so much more personal like when somebody calls you by your name instead of saying “Hey pal”.
I’m thinking of calling my group Idioms Really Stink or IRS. You’re invited to the next convention. BYOSTU, Bring Your Own Star Trek Uniform.