Verbal habits we loathe

I wrote a provocative headline on this post. In fact, I am developing a tolerant attitude toward my fellow English speakers’ verbal habits. But a couple of e-mail messages this week remind me that some of us are irritated by others’ use of certain words and phrases.

Here is the first one:

Subject line: please discuss this in your column

I am ABSOLUTELY sick of hearing the overuse and misuse (given the contexts) of the word "absolutely"

people use it for everything, from a simple ‘yes’ to a "you’re welcome", etc. ad naseum

I feel your pain, dear reader. My husband once went on a rant about the phrase "no problem," which has apparently become the new "you’re welcome." You (baby boomer) say "thank you" to the waiter (Gen Y) and he says, "No problem." Yes, I know it’s no problem; it’s your job, kid!

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.