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What Can You Say to That?

Do you ever have moments when you feel as if you should say something, but you don't even know what to say? You're left with a total loss for words. I envy those who always seem to be able to come up with something to say. I have found that when I don't know for sure what to say, I should just keep my mouth closed.

Today's iv is several jokes where the one person is left with nothing to say in reply.

A laundry-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to his wife, "What setting do I use on the washing machine?"

She replied, "It depends — what does it say on your shirt?"

He yelled back, "Green Bay Packers."


A tourist was admiring the necklace worn by a local Indian.

"What is it made of?" she asked.

"Alligator's teeth," the Indian replied.

"I suppose," she said patronizingly, "that they mean as much to you as pearls do to us."

"Oh no," he objected. "Anybody can open an oyster."


A church was celebrating its 100th anniversary, and several former pastors and the bishop were in attendance.

At one point, the minister had the children gather at the altar for a talk about the importance of the day. He began by asking them, "Does anyone know what the bishop does?"

There was silence. But finally, one little boy answered gravely, "He's the one you can move diagonally."


To the question, "Are there too many immigrants in Britain?" 17% responded Yes; 11% responded No; and 72% said "I am not understanding the question, please."


Here's a little help for geezers, in case they run across any young people and need to understand what is being said and perhaps how to reply:

no problem = you're welcome
ex: Do you want lemon with your tea?
—Yes, thank you.
—No problem.

absolutely = yes (or no)
ex: I wonder if you'd like some popcorn.

awesome = yes; I approve (or admire, or anticipate, etc. Can be safely substituted for any verb).
ex: I'll make us something to eat.

Bonus conversational tidbit:
Mary has a skin issue. or Mary's having a bad skin day. = Mary has a skin problem.

If you find yourself unable to apply any of the expressions above to the conversation, simply say "whatever," and walk away. Or if you have a cell phone, pretend it's vibrating, look at it, say "awesome," and walk away as if you're talking to someone.


Has anyone left you speechless lately? Have you noticed that many young people say "No problem" or similar expressions instead of "You're welcome." Do you have any others to add to the list above?


"It's far easier to constrict than it is to instruct." – Rick Cross

=^..^= =^..^=

Textaphrenia — when you think you've heard or felt your cell phone vibrate when there's actually no message or call at all.

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11 Comments on “What Can You Say to That?”

  1. #1 Beth
    on Mar 21st, 2012 at 7:33 am

    One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Australia 9 months ago was that people say “it’s okay” or “that’s aright” instead of “you’re welcome”. It took me a while to figure out that they were saying “no problem”. 🙂 There are many other phrases that I’m still figuring out.

    Thanks or thank you is “Ta” said as a thanks whenever something is handed to you or you are asking a child to give you something.

    Sausages are snags and flipflops are thongs, and there are many others.

  2. #2 Rob
    on Mar 21st, 2012 at 8:34 am

    That’s interesting, Beth. Have you noticed if that’s true of people of all ages, or only for one age group?

  3. #3 Vikki
    on Mar 21st, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Ha! I guess my age is showing, Beth. When I was younger, there was no such word as flipflop – they were called thongs. By the way, I grew up in Wisconsin.

  4. #4 Kathie
    on Mar 21st, 2012 at 9:18 am

    My children use the word “goes” in place of “says.” They’ll say, “Cassie goes, ‘Let’s eat lunch.'”

    It sounds crazy to me and I keep correcting them.

    Nice blog post, Rob!

  5. #5 Michael
    on Mar 21st, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    First, I suffer from the disorder you defined. I guess my abdomen has random tremors near the part of my belt where my phone is.

    Second, no problem bothers me some but what really gets me is the people at Chick-fil-a who say “My Pleasure” instead of “you’re welcome”. I actually intentionally don’t say “Thank you” at CFA any more to avoid their saying “My pleasure”. I have a student who works at CFA but even at school when you say “thank you” she says “my pleasure”. Aaaaaaggggghhhhh!

  6. #6 Bill
    on Mar 21st, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I love the Chick-Fil-A response. Instead of dumbing down “thank you” to “no problem”, they class it up to “It is my pleasure”!

  7. #7 Vikki
    on Mar 21st, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I agree with Bill. ‘My pleasure’ sounds more personable than just a simple ‘thank you’.

  8. #8 Sharlene
    on Mar 21st, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    “No problem” is kind of a national slogan here in Grenada. Here it means “glad to help.”

  9. #9 Sue
    on Mar 22nd, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I had to laugh at “No Problem” coming up on your blog… it’s become a habit with me, but I’ve been trying to say “You’re Welcome” instead. Now, if we could all agree here in the US that it means “Glad to Help”, I’d be set.

  10. #10 kokopuff
    on Mar 23rd, 2012 at 9:24 am

    The Chik Fil A folks must have taken the patented Ritz Carlton Hotel training…those folks say “My Pleasure” to EVERYTHING. And I hear more “No worries” as a response to asking for something to be done or thanking someone more and more often…thought that came from Australia, although my Canadian friends say it, too.

    Great post. I love your blog!

  11. #11 Claudia
    on Mar 25th, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    This always sounds odd to me:

    A. Do you want some?

    B. I’m good.