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Is “You’re Welcome” Dead? 25 June 2010

Posted by magicdufflepud in Uncategorized.
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Whatever happened to “You’re welcome”? Where did it vanish? When did it vanish? At what point, did saying “you’re welcome” start to feel like self-gratification. I first noticed it  a few years ago, back when I was working for my home town’s county government. Calling up to the to administrative assistant, I’d make a typical request: “Make a few copies of this please?” or “Will you route the package downstairs?” And after she’d said she would, I’d thank her for her help. “Thanks, D–.” But then she’d thank me right back. “Thanks, Andy.”

“Um… You’re welcome?” I’m happy to give you something to do?

It grew into a more commonplace phenomenon. Thanks. Thanks. No, really, thanks–as if we were playing the professional version of “No, you hang up first… I can hear you breathing.” Awkward. Anymore, you’re welcome now feels like it comes with some, very unwelcome, postscript. “You’re welcome: suck it.” Or maybe it seems smug. “You’re welcome: you owe me.” I can’t exactly pick out the feeling that accompanies saying it, but it borders  on the unpleasant.

“No problem,” on the other hand, occasionally fills the void, but it conveys a different meaning: “I was not inconvenienced by your request.” At face value, that more problematic, yet it rolls off the tongue so much more casually. Maybe you’re welcome is just stilted language, then– a dying phrase.

Wish I had something else to add on the subject, a possible explanation, perhaps, but I don’t. Instead, any support from the crowd?

Many thanks in advance. Of course.

Words Mean… Stuff! 14 March 2010

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“This blueprint lays the right markers to help us reset the bar for our students and the nation.”

That’s Representative George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor (because schools and unions are the same thing, right?) on the administration’s proposed education reforms. Evidently the blueprint, which is really a brief policy document, has laid “markers,” which sounds to me rather like dropping buoys off a boat, to help us “reset the bar” which means about as much as “unhinge the doohicky.” On education, of course. Education’s doohicky needs unhinging.

It’s fun to strip words of any meaning, kids! You can try it at home.  Just take phrases you’ve heard on CNN and mash them together until a period looks necessary. For starters:

At the end of the day, the takeaway is the we’ve thrown setting a new paradigm under the bus.

Going forward, the nation requires a robust vision for the future.

Da Bears.

More bad English to titillate here.