Author: Valerie Fridland

That segment was written by Valerie Fridland, who is a professor of linguistics at the University of Nevada in Reno and the author of a forthcoming language book called "Like, Literally, Dude" about all the speech habits we love to hate. You can find her at or on Twitter at @FridlandValerie.

From our automatic “thank you” as we grab our caramel latte at Starbucks to the genuine “thank you” when a stranger lets your two items go ahead of their full basket in the grocery line, “thank you” is bandied about a lot in daily life. But what seems to be waning is the well-worn “you’re welcome.” Instead, what we hear are things ranging from “no problem” to “you bet” to “sure.” But whatever happened to that old standby, “you’re welcome,” and why do we need so many other ways to respond to thanks? A babe in the woods Although it…

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