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Got a peeve? No problem.

No, I didn't ask if you had a problem. I said, "thank you."

When did "you're welcome" go extinct? I know that in some other cultures, the response to "thank you" may be the equivalent of "no problem" (i.e, ein davar - it's nothing ... in Hebrew; de nada - it was nothing ... in Spanish).

But when I say thank you to someone, I don't want to know that you potentially had a problem with what I asked for or what you offered to do. It sounds as though the person I'm thanking would NOT have done the action if it had been a problem.

Sometimes I'm tempted to respond "well, excuuuse me for asking."

And while we're on the subject of thank you/you're welcome - I really get annoyed when I say "thank you" to someone - and the person responds, "thank YOU." It's a one-upmanship that drives me nuts. I hear this a lot on talk radio - from the intellectuals on NPR to the screechers on the other radio talk shows. At the end of a segment, the host will say to the guest, "thank you for coming on;" and invariably the guest says, "thank YOU."

It's the contemporary equivalent of the way Wikipedia describes the old Alphonse/Gaston routine:

<<"After you, Alphonse.", "No, you first, my dear Gaston!" entertained readers for more than a decade. Alphonse was tall and grotesque; Gaston was short and grotesque. The premise of their strip was that they were both extremely polite, constantly bowing to each other and deferring to each other. Neither could ever do anything or go anywhere because each insisted on letting the other precede him.>>

Everyone is so polite that they don't realize how rude it is.

Just say thank you, get it over with.

No problem.


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