Why “No Problem” Can Seem Rude: Phatic Expressions

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Tom Scott
Tom Scott - 6 months 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.
Kyra Zimmer
Kyra Zimmer - 3 months ago
cant believe you forgot the "G'day, no worries" ;P
Rory Connolly
Rory Connolly - 4 months ago
Why show Ireland when you say Britain?
Shari Cola
Shari Cola - 4 months ago
One that we Americans use is "Yup" in lieu of "You're welcome" which I know grates on a lot of older folks and seems rude. But it's really just an acknowledgement of thanks.
Quillo - 4 months ago
Its not assault, its a phatic expression
Miniarts - 5 months ago
This video was *quite* helpful
Finn O’Rourke
Finn O’Rourke - 2 days ago
*laughs in Australian*
Nathan Hartanto
Nathan Hartanto - 3 days ago
Phatic expression, Tom!
Davy Ker
Davy Ker - 3 days ago
*Do* be Gandalf. I love that kind of nonsense.
Cian Gargan
Cian Gargan - 3 days ago
1:05 No I'm not alright. That's Britain and Ireland.
JugFTW - 4 days ago
i think about sounding rude when saying you're welcome at least 17 times a day and i kinda flip flop back and forth on whether it's rude or not but usually it takes about 6 minutes each time and i look just as stupid each time
Isura101 - 4 days ago
My Japanese friend used to say Aaaeeeeeeeeeee a-lot. Aaaeeeeeeeee i understand now!
Lightstee1 - 4 days ago
I guess it might be regional, but I certainly don't view "your welcome" as impolite or even weird. (I live in Midwest, US)
PolySaken - 4 days ago
"Excuse me" is kinda rude
I Like Google Plus
I Like Google Plus - 5 days ago
Start all emails with "Good (Time of day)"
Battery170 - 6 days ago
Or do you wish me that this morning will be good for me on this good morning to be good on?
Dávid Danos
Dávid Danos - 6 days ago
You should look into backchanneling within the Protactile language!
Yuri Sakovski
Yuri Sakovski - 6 days ago
I’m in between the you’re welcome and the no problem, I use em both
 - 10 days ago
Much obliged?
Alex Thelen
Alex Thelen - 10 days ago
Howdy sounds dated and formal...
Aquarius - 11 days ago
You're welcome just sounds sarcastic to me no matter what.
SpaYco - 12 days ago
wow... ok
yomommabois - 12 days ago
boring person
boring person - 12 days ago
Person: Thank You
Me: yeh
Skippy the Magnificent
Skippy the Magnificent - 13 days ago
As someone with an avoidant personality, can I suggest we just all stop talking completely, and only communicate through written means, and as infrequently as possible?

No? Ok, I'll just go back into my hole...
Alex Gregory
Alex Gregory - 13 days ago
I have a friend who uses good morning as both a greeting and a goodbye, and does so regardless of the time of day

I have a cousin that does the same thing, but with happy birthday
Chroni - 14 days ago
As I was leaving, my friend thanked me for coming over to their house. I replied, automatically, with “no problem.” Of course there wasn’t any problem- they’re my friend, and I enjoyed the time I spent with them- but I felt I was suggesting the possibility of issue with hanging out with them. I dislike phatic expressions, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use them :^)
Srakin - 14 days ago
Tom, I love your videos and this one is great, but "Don't be Gandalf" is the worst advice I've ever received.
Sarii - 15 days ago
When someone says "what's up" I always reply "it's good."
Luce Ohsure
Luce Ohsure - 16 days ago
in dutch “how are you” is used as both a Hello and an actual question/concern. So you get conversations where one starts with “How are you?” and the other isn’t sure whether to say “Hi!” or actually answer the question.
Either way it’s awkward.
Baalrog - 17 days ago
"how do you do?"
Murrica: HOWDY
Yorkshire: 'OW DO LOVE
Jacob Ward
Jacob Ward - 17 days ago
Yo wasson wagone my g
Kara - 18 days ago
I always say "you're very welcome!" or "you are so welcome." or "not a problem in the slightest" to communicate that I really do mean the semantics of what I am saying. You are welcome to ask for such at any time or you have caused me no problems here, honest.
That Scar
That Scar - 18 days ago
So it's rude just because of the lack of a polite response?
Secret Secret
Secret Secret - 18 days ago
My only problem when someone says "No problem" is when someone says it after you thank them for receiving a compliment or something.

Person 1: Hey, you look good in that hoodie.
Person 2: Oh really ? Thanks.
Person 1: No problem
Person 1: Happy Birthday !
Person 2: Thank you.
Person 1: No problem

Is it just me ? Feels like their compliment is worth more than anything else or something.
Colton Hines
Colton Hines - 18 days ago
I'm not Japanese but I have that problem
Justin Brantley
Justin Brantley - 18 days ago
Wow, I finally know where howdy came from. All my life, I never knew it was just "How do you do?" Shortened.
Nox Kwago
Nox Kwago - 23 days ago
Me trying to say "That's not a problem" but my mouth wants to say "That's ok". I end up saying "That's not OK" 🤦‍♂️
cZero - 23 days ago
I honestly don’t care about “no problem” or “you’re welcome” but I hate when I say thank you and then they reply with “mhmm”
James Hunt
James Hunt - 24 days ago
We indians just head bang a lot .
pleaseno - 29 days ago
but i've always wanted to be gandalf 😔
Shekel Snatcher
Shekel Snatcher - Month ago
in scotland the "you alright" problem is worse because we just say "AwRiGhT?"
Jonathan Amwoza
Jonathan Amwoza - Month ago
I'm a 24 year old American and I've never known anyone that considered "you're welcome" rude. I'd love some insight on this. Interesting.
Karis Coyne
Karis Coyne - Month ago
Current Project: replacing all my backchanneling with 'aye' so that I give off a slightly piratey vibe at all times
Asocial Canine
Asocial Canine - Month ago
I think I'm only realising now that giving your name is a phatic expression to me. Recently enough, someone shook my hand and introduced themselves, and I just stared blankly back at them before realising I should've done the same.
Sonic Timelord
Sonic Timelord - Month ago
Honestly, thinking about it, “No problem” is actually politer because it’s saying “It’s no problem that I took time out of my day to help.” On the other hand, “You’re welcome” is kinda ruder, because it’s saying “You should be grateful that I took the time to help.”
But like Tom said it could just be a generational gap
Neil Siebenthal
Neil Siebenthal - Month ago
I prefer responding with yesa master, just don't beat me no more.
Corsair Soul
Corsair Soul - Month ago
What's the difference between a phatic expression and a colloquialism?
hotelmario510 - Month ago
BOOMER: [in line at the grocery store] [to friend] Millennials are so oversensitive these days! [to cashier] Thank you.
MILLENNIAL: No problem.
BOOMER: ...I'm about to end this man's whole career.
Electro Fan
Electro Fan - Month ago
I think Americans can understand "you alright".......
Lord Mango
Lord Mango - Month ago
Chick-fil-A has it right:
"Thank you"
"My Pleasure"
Nathan Zotov
Nathan Zotov - Month ago
Title: Exists
Literally every Canadian ever: *I don’t need sleep, I need answers*
Guy That
Guy That - Month ago
Who thinks "you're welcome" or "no problem" is impolite?
I've never heard of such a thing, is it cause I'm a none native speaker?
Jamper - Month ago
BergischNRW - Month ago
I from Germany and learned "you're welcome" in school but soon realized that most people just use "no problem" which makes way more sense. Especially when you try to translate it back to German, Spanish or other languages that use a similar phrase.
Christina Carlin
Christina Carlin - Month ago
For some reason, I’ve never liked no problem and especially “np” or you’re welcome. I think it’s more your tone of how you say it, than which one you say.
TheSpanish Potato
TheSpanish Potato - Month ago
As an American, I can verify that saying “Y’alright?” would *not* be a greeting, unless you are being greeted to the Emergency Room.
Also, “What’s up?”, depending on context can express concern to an American. For example, if you’ve just gone through a rough breakup and you haven’t told your friends, and they notice that you’re acting sad, when they say “What’s up?”, it is expressing concern.
Coda Mission
Coda Mission - Month ago
Howdy doesn't sound formal to an American. It sounds rustic
Rich Marceau
Rich Marceau - Month ago
SYN = "Hello"
ACK = "Oh, Hi"
NAK = "Huh?"
Benedek Horváth
Benedek Horváth - Month ago
Just greet eachother with „yer up” and „what's right”.
„How are you going?”
„By car.”
FireOccator - Month ago
It's right up there with "What a save!".
TerribleTonyShow - Month ago
British People: Yuaih'?
TechnocratiK - Month ago
So, this issue exists across the Atlantic in other languages too. "T'es en forme?" is a phatic expression in French in Switzerland (meaning "How are you?"), but it definitely isn't in Quebec.
Wario Number One
Wario Number One - Month ago
In order to reduce confusion, I'll only be using SYN and ACK as phatic expressions from now on
Merlin The Eternal
Merlin The Eternal - Month ago
I think it might be fun to be gandalf.
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