Monday, November 23, 2009

I Had No Idea I Was So Annoying

Apparently the general public despises my default casual reply to "Thanks." I'm sure that I say "No problem" all the time. I never meant anything by it--it's just one of those pieces of the politeness script that one has to deploy in the conversation ritual.

But it turns out that what people hear when I say "No problem" is "a problem caused by you will be graciously ignored." That's according to the readers of Stanley Fish's blog at Check it out for a list of niceties that they don't find so nice.

I can't agree with most of the list. I do find the corporation-speak offensive: "Your call is important to us"; "For your convenience"; "In order to serve you better." These are expressions that no normal human being would come up with--they spring from spin sessions. They are nakedly disingenuous, each one a malevolent "This is not a pipe."

But most of the things people complain about on Fish's blog aren't in this class. "Is everything all right?"; "Take care"; "Have a nice day." People seriously have a problem with these?

No comments: