Is there a problem with ‘no problem’?

la-gente-de-negocios-del-equipo-con-el-mapa-del-mundo_53-7494I recently read a great article from the Boston Globe about the demise of the simple you’re welcome. Granted, the author possibly has even higher expectations of people than I do, but she brings up a good point.  When did it become the norm for people to reply to a genuine thank you with a flippant no problem, or an equally dismissive no worries (or the Scottish nae bother)?

Etiquette is changing faster than I’d like these days, but I suppose I will admit that you’re welcome seems a bit formal for things passing someone a coffee cup.  In business dealings and customer service sectors, though, I think it’s getting bad.  I don’t want to be served by a waiter who says ‘no prob‘ when I thank him for his service.  Nor do I want to do business with someone who behaves as if we are close friends.

I think the worst for me though is that I communicate with people a lot over IM (instant messaging) channels, and instead of you’re welcome, or even no problem, I get the short form np.  Oh, that was np, but it’s clearly a big p for me to write out full words.  But anyway, that’s an entirely different rant.

Do you feel the same way about the decline of good manners?  Or is it a natural progression towards general casualness in human interactions?

My humblest apologies for choosing such a whiny topic for my last post of the year! My genuine thanks for reading; I hope it wasn’t too much of a problem!

Full article: Boston Globe.
Image: Marlie Kanoi.

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