Why “No Problem” Can Seem Rude: Phatic Expressions

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Tom Scott
Tom Scott - Month ago
I've hedged my bets as best I can with the US/UK comparisons here: but your experiences may well be different! That's, uh, kind of the point.
Miniarts - 11 days ago
This video was *quite* helpful
Gaymer - 15 days ago
No problem!
dragonamt - 15 days ago
Someone needs to talk about the new usage of the word "rips" in headlines. I assume this comes from the vulgar phrase "Rips him/her a new one/***hole.", but I genuinely don't know. That is a new word/meaning as far as I can tell.
Fishie Fish
Fishie Fish - 15 days ago
Der Felix that’s a good point. Here in the US, “how are you doing,” “how’s it going,” and “what’s up,” (as well as other variations probably) can all be asked and responded to with each other. Kind of a weird thing to do when you think about it.
Rei - 16 days ago
just never had a problem with it
Kego TV
Kego TV - 19 minutes ago
From the uk and i have never heard anyone say that "your welcome" or "no problem" was rude.
vedi0boy - 16 hours ago
I just say "no worries" now
Koleton Nelson
Koleton Nelson - Day ago
Bah. Everybody knows Gandalf is just a massive troll.
Anne B
Anne B - 2 days ago
I always have a moment of panic when I say "See you!" to mean "Goodbye!" but then realize that I will probably not see that person again, or at least not recognize that person if I were to see them again. I know it doesn't matter - they get the meaning - but it still feels insincere to me.
Xezlec - 2 days ago
Amazes me that anybody would have a problem with "no problem", in any context. I'm literally telling you that helping you was not something I regret in the slightest and would happily do again if needed. How could that ever be rude?
Sean Bennington
Sean Bennington - 2 days ago
I found this channel a week ago and have been hooked. The way Tom Scott at one time provides a professional overview of the topic, interjects humor, and packs information into bite-sized videos, all while presenting himself not as a definitive authority and pointing us towards such authorities in his citations, is amazing. His humility, wit, and attention to detail combined with the digestibility of his videos make these videos extremely difficult to not binge.
Edit: grammar
newmarsvolta - 2 days ago
In New Zealand it’s fine to say “that’s alright” in reply to a “thank you” which basically means “I’m happy to be of service. It was no inconvenience to me whatsoever”. When I was living and working in the states a regular customer complained to my manager that I was being rude and should say “you’re welcome” instead.
I think it’s interesting is that one is obliged to humble themselves further when thanked for a service that they have provided and if they don’t then it is considered offensive.
More confused that I was scolded for saying “that’s alright” when it’s acceptable in America to reply to a “thank you” with “mhmm”
argella1300 - 2 days ago
1:52 another thing: the equivalent of “you’re welcome” in other languages basically means “no problem”, “it was no trouble”, etc. Off the top of my head, Spanish (de nada) and Mandarin Chinese (没问题 Méi wèntí) come to mind
Maxon Mendel
Maxon Mendel - 3 days ago
"You're welcome" sounds impolite?
My boomer grandad says "okay" instead of you're welcome or no problem
Maxon Mendel
Maxon Mendel - Day ago
@Isomer Mashups that's it actually. "Thanks so much!" "Mm Yup."
Isomer Mashups
Isomer Mashups - 2 days ago
"Thank you." "Yes."
Michael Patrick
Michael Patrick - 3 days ago
At my work we are REQUIRED to ask every customer, "What brings you in today?" They almost invariably answer, "Fine thanks!"
Isomer Mashups
Isomer Mashups - 2 days ago
Waiter: Enjoy your meal. Me: Thanks. You, too.
NevadaJPC - 3 days ago
I think no problem is better because it’s meaning it was no problem for me to help and I wanted to but you’re welcome means it was something I didn’t want to do and it was basically a waste of time for me, I use both frequently but I do like no problem
dawn - 4 days ago
bro i had british online friends when i was 14/15 how come no one told me it was weird to say "what's up" :|
Max Gonzalez
Max Gonzalez - 4 days ago
If someone thanks me for something I generally say “of course” or “absolutely” but that’s only if I really mean it. “You’re welcome” is something I only say if I’m annoyed or feel obligated to do something.
JTtheNinja - 5 days ago
"Have a nice day!"
"Enjoy your next twenty-four hours!"
AdamKing60 - 5 days ago
If I was in the UK and someone said "You alright?" my natural response would most likely be "I am good. Are you good?"
Isomer Mashups
Isomer Mashups - 2 days ago
I usually reply with, "Well, and you?"
Reverie626 - 6 days ago
Happy to oblige/help is now my go to.
rom65536 - 6 days ago
Finally, I understand.
This explains why people get upset when I walk into the business meeting with the client and say "'s'up, bitches!"
Shane Wright
Shane Wright - 7 days ago
Whenever anyone wishes me a good morning I tell them that the assessment is contraindicated by the facts in evidence.
yourbestpotato - 7 days ago
Demetria Bugeja
Demetria Bugeja - 7 days ago
_just... don't be Gandalf_
Charles Choate
Charles Choate - 7 days ago
Linguistics major flexing his wordplay.
monday blues enthusiast
Your language videos are great! I really enjoy watching them :)
LESLIE TURNER - 7 days ago
My robot persona🙋🤖: Hey, how are you?
Human peer response👲👍: Good, how are you?
My robot persona🙋🤖: Good, how are you?
Human peer response🤔😕🚶: *slowly backs up, turns around and walks away with a look of confusion
My robot persona🤷🤖: What did I say?😂
John Kochen
John Kochen - 7 days ago
How can anybody consider "you're welcome" as something bad?
Siobhan Clark
Siobhan Clark - 6 days ago
"You're welcome" can be read at face value, or as passive aggressive. It implies that the task in question is of value and worthy of thanks. If that thanks is not given, a person might say, "I did this thing, you're WELCOME" in a nasty tone in a bid for attention and to imply that the other person is an ingrate, which is rude and off-putting. "No problem" is less often used in this way. It implies that the task was not difficult or really worthy of thanks, so no praise is needed in return. It is considered more humble, casual, and polite among young people, since it expects nothing of the other person and suggests that their happiness outweighs the unpleasantness of the task, whereas "you're welcome" suggests the task was burdensome and therefore the other person owes you something. However, it's the opposite among older people: "you're welcome" is the all-purpose polite response to "thank you", whereas "no problem" implies that the person/task was a problem to begin with.
SkyWolfAlpha - 8 days ago
I feel like now I can put into words why the phrase "you guys" doesn't actually imply the speaker is only referring to males, or that the speaker is implying that everyone present is male.
†Christian H†
†Christian H† - 8 days ago
I like how you have the citations for your info right there. Most YouTubers don’t have that info available at all
Jacque Plett
Jacque Plett - 8 days ago
On one of these forums, can't remember whose, someone got their knickers in a twist about Americans saying "have a nice day", like they were being ordered to have a nice day. When I say it (more like, "have a good one"), I'm basically wishing them a good day. People take verbal shortcuts all the time, and it's a waste of my time to be perpetually p1ssed at how people greet me. Life's too short.
James H
James H - 8 days ago
No problem and you're welcome are both appropriate in different situations.
For example if you held a door for somebody and you replied with "no problem" to their thanks, it is not rude at all.
If you helped somebody who really needed your help and you replied to their thanks with "no problem" that would be rude, the proper response would be "my pleasure" or "you're welcome"
Isomer Mashups
Isomer Mashups - 2 days ago
"I appreciate your thanks. Do not request this again." Power move.
Jack251190 - 8 days ago
If someone takes offence at "no problem" maybe they should get off their high horse or perhaps stay away from people. They sound fragile and egotistic.
Hureji - 8 days ago
wait i've never heard of either no problem or you're welcome as being rude, i just use them interchangeably with other phrases like 'anytime' and 'no worries'. can someone tell me why either are interpreted as rude?
EnternalEntropy - 9 days ago
So oddly enough I come from the Bay Area in California and how are you is not always phatic. I barely hear it, and when I do it's always jarring for me because I actually want to answer and talk about my day rather then just saying fine and move on. I would use what's up instead or how's it hanging. Other phatic greetings I'd use are what's popping, saaaaaaaahh dude, or the simple how's it going?
Micki Sei
Micki Sei - 9 days ago
Where I'm from saying "You good? " means "how are you?" or "are you ok?" .
Eastwind4869 - 9 days ago
While working as a cashier or the like, I've gotten into the habit of saying "you're very welcome" because, despite knowing it is considered polite, I can't help but feel "you're welcome" sounds rude like I'm expecting thanks. Whereas, adding "very" makes it sound more sincere. I do this only when i am directly dealing with a customer at the register. If I'm like cleaning or something and either directly help a customer or like move out of their way and they say thanks, I will still say "no problem" or "no problem at all" or "it was nothing." And then in basically any other contexts, I will say just "no ptoblem" if I genuinely don't mind and "you're welcome" if doing it bothers me in some way
Sean L
Sean L - 9 days ago
If I know someone I find it easier to tell if the expression is phatic from the intonation with which they say it in.
Brynna - 9 days ago
Aliens watch these videos to study how they’re gonna convince us that they’re not aliens.
UnfinishedRiot - 10 days ago
Howdy is coming backkkkj
Nicholas Pipitone
Nicholas Pipitone - 10 days ago
0:54 What? Since when are "Hello" and "How are you?" the same thing?

.....And, howdy? Is formal? What?

A: Hello
B: I'm good, how about you?

A: How are you?
B: Oh hey, what's up?
todd - 10 days ago
Count me as an American who hates being asked how are you. I honestly don't know how to answer sometimes. Everyone knows you are supposed to say fine, but just dislike the whole thing.
raela sh
raela sh - 10 days ago
The fear of being asked how I am by a complete stranger and not knowing what to respond with is what would be keeping me from going to the US
retkvi - 10 days ago
How are you?
"Not so good" and smiling back , o I hate that phrase. How could US people be so positive with it, like they don't even care what they are saying.
Erik Emerölduson
Erik Emerölduson - 10 days ago
This is why whenever I'm not in the US, I avoid saying "how are you?"
Kawsaki - 10 days ago
Not a problem

I always used to find that more offensive than “no problem”
Isomer Mashups
Isomer Mashups - 2 days ago
"Not welcome."
CanuckJim - 10 days ago
"Are you alright" can also alarm North Americans because "alright in the head" is a common euphemism for "sane" leading "Are you alright?" to mean they're questioning whether you're behaving in a sane manner.
Daniel Villalobos
Daniel Villalobos - 10 days ago
Hehe, this reminds me of the popular American South expression, "bless your heart".
Usually delivered in a tone of mock concern and loaded with cynicism.
Morgan Taylor
Morgan Taylor - 10 days ago
now I understand why chic-fil-a uses my pleasure
WolfBlade13179 - 11 days ago
Imo super offbase. I’m a server, and “you alright/youall good?” is a phrase used by most people multiple times per day in the US.)
Jan Sitkowski
Jan Sitkowski - 11 days ago
Best way to greet someone in English is to simply say "Greetings and Salutation adventurer!"
Jan Sitkowski
Jan Sitkowski - 11 days ago
Never say : "How are you?" in Poland, it will always end in a long story about everything that happened in last 20 years. Unless you're very lucky and you talk to a person that is feeling very shitty today, and they will say "Not very good" and then stop talking. Or they say they are okay. Poles never say that everything is great, because even if it is, it's just not very much in our culture.
Jonathan Pettitt
Jonathan Pettitt - 11 days ago
I absolutely LOVE the footnotes! (Perhaps headnotes since they were along the top of the screen?) Nothing better than redistributing academic methods through YouTube!!
Max Brown
Max Brown - 11 days ago
My names Woody, howdy howdy howdy
Naz Fride
Naz Fride - 11 days ago
I HATE when I ask a server in a restaurant for something and they reply "No problem."
Daniella Castro
Daniella Castro - 11 days ago
That is why spanish is great, if someone thanks you, you give that thanks back:
+ gracias (thank u)
- a ti! (To you)
And so everyone is thanked
TheCassiusTain - 12 days ago
stop [continues to do fart noises] pppppppppppp
Alex Megna
Alex Megna - 12 days ago
Once all the older generations die then.
ALBER PAJARES - 12 days ago
We say here ‘it’s fine’ for apologetics or thanks,..
ALBER PAJARES - 12 days ago
Can seems wasted or lazy but it’s already such popular..,
ALBER PAJARES - 12 days ago
Thank you for the drink,.. it’s fine.,. Excuse me by the hit,.. it’s fine..,
Sopore por
Sopore por - 12 days ago
I heard somewhere that if you don’t want to say “You’re Welcome” or “No problem” when being told thank you, you can say “happy to help”
My problem lies when someone says sorry but haven’t really done anything to warrant an apology. I normally reply with “No, your fine.”, but I wonder if there’s a better way to say that.
Erin Rising
Erin Rising - 12 days ago
and if you complain someone said "no problem" on one of those customer surveys, you are looking to complain about something and should just stay home.
Mike Brady
Mike Brady - 12 days ago
I've never been able to get used to Americans replying 'Uh-huh', or 'M-Hm', 'sure!' after you say thanks. For instance, when a someone hands me a cup of coffee here in Ireland I might say 'Thanks' and they might say "You're welcome", but in America, they'd likely say 'sure!', or 'Uh-huh!'. I've never gotten used to that. It feels rude (even though I know it's not) :)
Heidi Ah Sue
Heidi Ah Sue - 13 days ago
I usually respond to "Thank you" with a bright, smiling "Of course!" I think it's mostly taken well... 🤔
Taylor - 12 days ago
That's a good middle ground.
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