1) “No Problem.”
â€œNo problem,â€ says your server, when you request more bread. Well, thanks for the reassurance â€“ that really takes a load off my mind. Iâ€™ve been sitting here consumed with anxiety over whether my requesting bread, or a refill of water, might cause you, the server, difficulties or emotional upset or something tantamount to a coronary. Whew! Is that a relief, just hearing you calm me down and offer the soothing benediction of your assurance that I have not ruined your day.
The real response I have is: â€œof course itâ€™s no problem you idiot. Why should providing basic service (which is after all your job) cause any problem whatsoever”?
This is another slang verbal habit that has just plain gotten out of control, like â€œtwentyfour sevenâ€ and â€œback at â€˜chaâ€.
Stop it! Just stop it.
2) “Have a good one.”
â€œHave a good one.â€ This one kills me. And Iâ€™ve given it some thought â€“ though I wouldnâ€™t mind hearing your version. Clearly this is a genericization of an already hackneyed expression, â€œHave a nice day.â€ Okay. So initially it occurs to me that â€œHave a good oneâ€ (which always sound very Bud Lite, donâ€™t you think?) is an effort to throw over one clichÃ© in favor of another. Replace â€œdayâ€ with â€œoneâ€, replace â€œniceâ€ with â€œgoodâ€ and voila! something new and fresh. Hmmm, I donâ€™t think so.
It’s true that “Have a good one” covers much more territory than â€œHave a nice day.â€ It can be used no matter what time it is â€“ morning, afternoon, evening. It suggests fellowship, camaraderie and sort of a queasy intimacy. A wink and a nudge, if you recall your Monty Python.
Itâ€™s all so NFL. Another overworked sports analogy, perhaps a lashing out at feminism, the idea of taking back what small turf remains to â€œguysâ€ (I have already commented on that bit of macho linguo.)
3) “No problem. Have a good one guys.” This linguistic miscreant covers the entire pop turf. It is, to quote another disturbingly ubiquitous phrase (one of which I am also guilty), it is a “no brainer.” And that’s probably what America sees in it. It says nothing, hence it can be used by anybody, in any instance. I have more to say on the “guys” issue, but as Scarlett O’Hara reminds us “tomorrow is another day.”