What’s With the Grabbing and the No Probleming?

I am noticing more and more that servers at restaurants are asking people “can I GRAB that for you?” “I’ll just GRAB your check for you” and “can I GRAB you something else?” Why can’t they just say, “can I get that for you?” or “I’ll go get your check for you,” or “can I bring you something else?” It’s beyond annoying.

And then there is the “no problem” to nearly everything, which is like this: say a nice person opens the door for you when your arms are full of groceries, and you thank them. And do they say “you’re welcome,” or “my pleasure,” or “I’m glad to help?” No. No, they do not. They say “no problem.” Here’s the thing: “no problem” does NOT act as a “you’re welcome.”

As a dear friend of mine recently said (because the “no problem” bugs her just as much as it bugs me), “THERE IS NO PROBLEM!” And she’s correct: ‘no problem’ does not, will not and never will be a subsitute for “you’re welcome.”

And as a little sidecar to this rant, there is also the over-use of the ubiquitous “like.” As our good old pals, William Strunk. Jr. and E.B. White, who wrote “The Elements of Style,” say this about “like:”

“Not to be used for the conjunctions as. Like governs nouns and pronouns; before phrases and clauses the equivalent word is as. Good example: “We spent the evening as in the old days.” Bad example: “We spent the evening like in the old days.”

I swear that, should I ever be a teacher again, I would warn my students that the over-use of “like” will mean the following:

  • Points will be removed from the student on any and all tests, essays, and compositions.
  • Students who continue to say “like” in class will have to sit on an uncomfortable chair in front of the class and wear a tall pointed hat with the word “IDIOT” on it, and a sign that reads “I Said “Like” WAY Too Many Times!” Parents will be notified.
  • Students who refuse to stop saying “like” will be turned into speed bumps.

Yup, you got it—it’s all part of my secret evil plan <insert a string of moo-hahahas here>.


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