Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 11:36:24 -0700


Subject: Re: thank you . . . thank you

On Sun, 19 Oct 1997, MELISSA S. SMITH wrote:


"You're welcome" is a rather meaningless saying. It has been replaced

with "No problem", and "Don't mention it". This tells the person that

said "Thank you" that you were more than happy to lend a hand and that

recognition is not necessary.

Melissa S. Smith

I doubt you can lump "No problem!" together with "Don't mention it!" as

"replacements" for "You're welcome," since "Don't mention it" is at least

as old as "You're welcome," if not older, while "No problem" is a

relatively recent usage. And I guess I don't see why "You're welcome" is

any more meaningless than any other phrase which gets reduced to a

formula with constant use.

FWIW, "No problem" has always irked me a little, since it seems to assume

that any courtesy done by one person for another is automatically a

"problem" for the doer, and that the recipient of the courtesy should feel

guilty for having asked, until released from that guilt by the doer's "No

problem." But then, I guess this is merely evidence that "No problem" has

not yet achieved formula status with me.

Peter McGraw