Where hast ye manners gone? Ever since I burned through any U.S.-based shows worth watching on Netflix, I’ve turned coat and looked to the Brits for my evening entertainment. They’re a right polite bunch, they are. Our forefathers across the pond seem to be a little more dedicated to preserving the King’s English. We Yankees, not so much.
Unfortunately, I think the phrase “you’re welcome” is sailing into the speech sunset. While I was raised on “you’re welcome” as the one and only response to “thank you,” I’m getting a lot more “no problem,” “no, thank you,” and the dreaded, “okay” (aka “okie dokie, artichokie”).
Then there are those who think they’re speaking properly and totally mucking it up. On more than one occasion, I’ve had a waiter ask me, “Is everything is tasting well?” What the what? Without getting into a lengthy English lesson, that’s just wrong. Even if some egghead can rationalize the sentence structure, it hurts my ears, so stop.
“Irregardless” is another one that drives me crazy. People will argue that it’s not even an actual word, but according to Merriam-Webster, it is. They also say it’s a good idea to not use it and stick with good old reliable “regardless.” That’s what Her Majesty would say.
As language evolves, formerly common words and phrases are dying out as quickly as new ones are invented. I guess that’s a double-edged sword. Regardless, we boomers need to stay on top of things so we can translate the comments of our offspring and our offspring’s offspring, and adjust our post-mortem bequests accordingly.
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, I say! “You’re welcome” is like ketchup (catsup?) on French fries: there’s no need to mess with it, unless of course you’re British, then they’d be chips with vinegar. OK, bad analogy, but I’ve made my point. You’re welcome.