Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Today's English lesson

I'm nothing if not responsive to my audience...

From Common Errors In English:

Not At All!
Some of us are irritated when a grocery checker asks "Do you want any help out with that at all?"

At all is traditionally used in negative contexts: "Can't you give me any help at all?"

The current pattern of using the phrase in positive offers of help unintentionally suggests aid reluctantly given or minimal in extent.

As a way of making yourself sound less polite than you intend, it ranks right up there with "no problem" instead of "you're welcome."

You're welcome.

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