Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 11:36:24 -0700
From: Peter McGraw pmcgraw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]LINFIELD.EDU
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.