Gransnet forums

Pedants' corner

Can I get?

(169 Posts)
Toddleo Thu 16-Aug-18 16:28:25

I am really irritated by this modern way of asking for things.
In a cafe for example "can I get a large latte" "can I get a toasted sandwich"
I just want to scream "NO YOU CAN'T, because you are not allowed in the kitchen/behind the counter etc...."

What is wrong with "please may I have...." Grrrr

Allegretto Thu 16-Aug-18 16:32:01

I agree. It drives me to distraction, Toddleo.

Toddleo Thu 16-Aug-18 16:32:21

While I am at it.....why do the youngsters start their sentences with "So"...
It happens all the time
"So, was getting ready to go out" etc
completely unnecessary and very irritating.

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:32:54

Hardly anyone says "Please may I have...?" It actually sounds quite stilted. "Could I have a... whatever.... please?" is just as polite.

I think you'll just have to lump "Can I get a...?" It is perfectly polite in America.

Toddleo Thu 16-Aug-18 16:34:01

I blame all the USA TV that is watched now, the "youth" are adopting all the Americanisms...My youngest talked about the trash the other day....he WILL NOT do that again in a hurry! smile

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:35:22

Bloody Americans, changing our language 😜

Toddleo Thu 16-Aug-18 16:35:56

you are quite right Baggs, I am
making a fuss over nothing of course (and I love America and USA TV!!) some things just grate on you though don't they!

silverlining48 Thu 16-Aug-18 16:36:37

Agree. Always want to say 'no, wait here, the person employed to serve will get it'.
Is it another Americanism....

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:37:20

Chambers Dictionary thinks the word trash has Scandinavian origins.

Jalima1108 Thu 16-Aug-18 16:38:32

I remember standing behind an American woman in a queue for ice creams years ago and hearing her say 'I wanna get' ….. then asking each of her children what they wanted as they ummed and aahed and I remember thinking 'Ask them first, then say "Please may I have"!

I'm alarmed to hear that it is on the increase here.

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:39:14

No, I don't find the way other people talk does grate on me. What irks me is the constant complaining about it on Gransnet.

Jalima1108 Thu 16-Aug-18 16:39:43

RN term for rubbish is 'gash'

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:39:57

"I wanna get" isn't rude in America!!

Jalima1108 Thu 16-Aug-18 16:40:40

What irks me is the constant complaining about it on Gransnet.
what irked me was standing behind her in the queue while they dithered grin - and it did sound very rude - what's wrong with 'please'?

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:42:02

Nothing's wrong with please. Please isn't the issue; dislike of other people's common parlance is the issue.

Jalima1108 Thu 16-Aug-18 16:42:15

Neither is 'D'yer wannit to go?' apparently grin
(Would you like to take it away with you?)

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:42:31

Snobbish dislike for the most part. At least it feels like that to me.

Jalima1108 Thu 16-Aug-18 16:43:09

I'll put my hand up

Jalima1108 Thu 16-Aug-18 16:44:35

I prefer to hear:
'Boddla warder please'
with an upward inflexion

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:44:51

Where I live when you've asked for your latte, or whatever, the barista (or whoever) will say, very succinctly "Se''en en?"

For a while I didn't understand this. Then I realised they were saying "Are you sitting in?"

I like the local variation 🙂

Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:45:53

Variety is the spice of life and variety in language is one of the richest sources of fun. Enjoy it!

pollyperkins Thu 16-Aug-18 16:46:01

Well this is pedants' corner Baggs. If it annoys you, don't look! It relueves our feelings to have a bit of a moan. I would not dream of correcting anyone, even family members or here on GN (not personally I mean), but it's nice to be able to share the irritation here with like minded people.

pollyperkins Thu 16-Aug-18 16:46:56


Baggs Thu 16-Aug-18 16:48:31

You have a point, pp, but I don't think this sort of complaint is pedantry because what the people complained about are saying is not incorrect or wrong in any way. It's just different.

So I will continue to express my irritation at linguistic snobbery.

Jalima1108 Thu 16-Aug-18 16:49:06

Well this is pedants' corner Baggs
And it is only a very small, quiet corner.
We're not allowed to moan about spelling, grammar etc on other threads so this little space is needed to relieve our angst