‘No Problem’

I have always wondered how one measures maturity and believe I have recently achieved that plateau when, in listening to myself, I realized I sound like my father would have. It happened at a local shop, when upon paying, I thanked the cashier and heard a drawn out "No problem".

I recalled asking myself, “Why would it possibly be a problem?”

The response caused me to pay closer attention to comments from young, store personnel, and it appears that 'No problem' has replaced the traditional 'You're welcome' as a reply to ‘Thank you’. Along with a few 'You bet’s' and the odd 'Sure' I have started to realize that the English language is changing rapidly before my eyes... or, God forbid, I’m becoming cynical as the years progress and no longer in tune with the hip generation.

I do still believe myself to be cool, wear trendy clothes and would have a punky haircut, if I had a bit more growth on top, but when it comes to language I have difficulty in drifting too far from the traditions instilled in me as a child. Perhaps it is because English is my second language or possibly having written books and countless articles, I have become more in tune with the way people speak, but I certainly am finding a lack of respect for the Queen's English, especially in conversation.

I can accept terms like ‘LOL’ or 'Let's Google it', but not in everyday speech and especially not when conversing with other human beings. Sure, when I chat on my computer I am expected to use cyber terminology, but sitting in a restaurant over dinner when someone says something funny, I still prefer to laugh instead of looking at the person and spelling out ‘LMAO’.

We all know that spell-check has replaced the need of knowing how to use grammar and spelling and in conversation with a friend about this he used the calculator scenario, explaining we no longer need to know mathematics because we have calculators, which tell us the answers. I find I do not agree with the scenario, for when I type a document I have to know the context and spelling of certain words, because no matter how accurate a computer is, it is not always correct.

Recently I became very agitated when I offered a ten dollar bill to a cashier for something that cost $9.25 After it had been rung in I gave her a quarter to make the refund simpler. Boy did I get a strange look! The cashier stood, mouth agape, staring at the cash register, back at me, down at the money, back at the cash register and back at me, totally mystified as to what to do next.

Quietly I took my quarter back, waited for the change shown on the cash register’s display and thanked her, only to cringe when I heard the "No problem" response again.

I do prefer words like 'Finish' instead of 'Done' and 'Lighted’, instead of 'Lit', and get annoyed when I hear phrases like, 'I seen him yesterday' or 'I ain't got a clue', even if I does has a clue!

Of course the question you have to ask is, what does it matter? If you understand what I am writing why should either of us car abut seplling? I guess I am still old school and believe in grammatical rules when conversing verbally or in writing. I suppose we should be grateful, for if we lived in the southern US our ‘thank you’ would be answered with an 'Uh huh'!

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