I took my car for an MOT this morning. The woman who runs the garage is very efficient, but she has a really irritating vocal tic. Her answer to virtually any inquiry is “not a problem.” It’s a variant of the increasingly common “no problem” spoken, for example, when you are given change in the shop. You say thanks, the shop person says “no problem”. Well, no, obviously – why would it be a problem? I am entitled to my change, no? At the garage, I overheard a telephone conversation which went like this:
Caller – (whatever, I couldn’t hear)
Garage woman – Not a problem Mr Davies
Caller – Blah blah blah
GW – Not a problem
Caller – Blah
GW – That’s not a problem, no.
Caller – Blah
GW – That’s not a problem in any way, shape or form…

What about that last one?
I imagine this woman’s awesome power to smooth out problems could be used to solve global difficulties. Let’s get her up to the G8 meeting. I imagine the press conference:

Andrew Marr: Do you have a plan to end world poverty?
Special Envoy Garage Woman: That’s not a problem
Adam Boulton: What about AIDS?
SEGW: That’s no problem at all
Jon Snow: Can you fix global warming?
SEGW: That’s not a problem in any way, shape or form.
All: Hurrah!

CC BY-SA 4.0 No problems by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.