Annoying Expressions

When I was a teenager/young adult, a common expression when one was astounded or upset with news was “You’re kidding me!” Meaning, that’s crazy or horrible or wow, I can’t believe that happened. I used it all the time.

It drove my father crazy. Even given the fact that my father was very literal, what drove me crazy was that he just didn’t understand the saying. Or perhaps was throwing it back in my face because he thought it was a ridiculous expression.

Every time his response yelled in anger was “Why would I joke about something like that!” He could have been speaking about Watergate and I would say “You’re kidding me!” Obviously, I didn’t think he would make that up. But the expression was that of my generation and it just became part of my cultural DNA.

Now the roles are reversed. I’m of the “older” generation and there are two responses that teenagers and millennials use now that make me want to punch a wall annoy me every time I hear them. Which is daily.

Annoying expression #1:  No worries.

Here’s an example. At the grocery store, when I give the cashier money or use my credit card and am ready to leave, I automatically say “Thank you” and usually add “Have a nice day.” And the response is invariably “No worries.” I want to scream “WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK I’M WORRIED? I DON’T KNOW YOU BUT AM BEING POLITE!” Plus there is an implied compliment that I think they were doing their job well by thanking them, even if they appear to be counting down the nanoseconds until their shift is over and don’t make eye contact with their customers. But I’m not worried about their shift. I assume they can handle it.

Annoying expression #2:  No problem.

And here’s an example for this one. I am walking towards a building and arrive at the door simultaneously with a younger person. We both reach for the door and the other person beats me to it and holds it open for me. I tell them “thank you” or “thank you so much.” They respond with…wait for it….”no problem.” Really? If they were carrying a bundle of bricks, then it would be a problem for them and it would be nutty for them not to allow me to hold the door. If I got to the door first I would have held it open, and it would not have even remotely been a problem for me. If the other person was polite, I could have expected a thank you and my response would have been you’re welcome.

But a problem? Are we at the point in society that a different generation has to assure us that we didn’t cause them a problem? Did they make a decision that to politely open the door for someone and use up two seconds of their day might be a problem? Do they think that I thought it was a problem for them? And that I would be worried about it?

I’ve turned into my father.


About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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29 Responses to Annoying Expressions

  1. Oops, I’m guilty of the ‘No Problem’, especially when walking the dog.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There comes that time in every one’s life when we suddenly realize, “Damn, I’ve become my parents.” I will admit to using “no worries” the other day in an email to a coworker. He’d sent a long apology for asking me to do that it’s my job to do so I sent back, “No worries, that’s my job to take care of that.”

    Then he apologized for sending an apology. I’m afraid to talk to him now.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Paul says:

    As a Canadian, I feel attacked hahaha

    I think people say “no worries” and “no problem” because “you’re welcome” could come across as too arrogant if said too aggressively. All I know is that in Canada, when someone says “thank you” the other person normally says “thank you” as well. We just repeat after each other a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Do millennials in Canada expect people to be worried, as well? Maybe it’s a continental thing lol.
      You still hold the honors for being the politest people in the world. But I always wonder what is actually going through your head. Not you personally, of corse, but Canadians in general, when they are outwardly being so polite.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Oh yes, lots of people say “No worries”. It’s often used by younger people who want to say “you’re welcome” but don’t want to sound too grown up around their peers so it’s “no worries”. That’s my theory, at least.

        As for what going through our heads when we’re being polite – not much, actually.


  4. I don’t think it’s a problem that I say no problem. If I didn’t say “no problem” in exactly those situations, I would certainly have a problem. To sound fancy I will sometimes mix it up with a hearty “No Problemas.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your post made me chuckle. Thank you. I can be very literal when listening to people & it can result in some interesting dialogue. But I have to admit to using the phrase ‘no problem’. Maybe it’s my desperate attempt to maintain cross millenia communication! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ely says:

    Lol! This was fun! Especially since I’m the queen of awful expressions like: “seriously?!” Or “get the f*ck outta here!!” LOL!!!!! “Stop it right now!” When I’m excited or “who are you, even?” Lol I can go on for days. And I’m not a millennial. I’m just… well. I’m just special lol 😂 thanks for the rant!!!! Love it!! Let it all out Barb!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Both of these expressions annoy me, too. And the reason is that I used to be guilty of both of them. (As well as starting answers to questions with “So…” A friend took me aside and told me how condescending that sounded.) I saw a video one day about how “no problem/worries” comes across. They recommended saying “You’re welcome” or “Happy to help” instead.

    I began policing my own speech. It was a struggle at first. Sometimes, I’d just say “No problem,” and then correct myself by adding “Happy to help.” But over time, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. And now, I cringe when I hear someone else do it, because I know that’s how I once sounded.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I use “so” in the beginning of a sentence all the time. I even annoy myself and am trying to break that habit. I don’t mind saying “at any rate” all the time since I re-read The Hobbit recently. Tolkien uses it more than I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. George says:

    Funny how the roles reverse after a certain number of years..:)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ann Coleman says:

    No worries, we all turn into our parents at some time or another. And if you’re planning to thank me for my comment, just know my response will be, “no problem!” Ha! (Actually, those two phrases get on my nerves too……)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. peckapalooza says:

    I do have a tendency to say “No worries,” a lot. But it’s generally after someone has apologized to me for something that’s really not a big deal.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Barb, I’m worried. I am so guilty of this crime. Probably written all over my face — God, I hope it’s not in permanent marker. And I’m from your generation! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bluestempond says:

    Those are two of my pet peeves as well. My husband thinks I’m just a grouch so I try to keep it to myself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Next time you can shove my blog post under his nose lol! Except I do see that some of the pet peeves from other comments on this post are things that I say. Oops. This was fun though.


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