IABU to hate "Can I get...."?

(113 Posts)
tbtc20 Wed 17-Feb-16 16:23:14

A colleague (English as first language) likes to adopt Americanisms into his speech.

His latest is to say e.g. "Can I get you to test this program" or "Can I get an account for our new starter".

I think he thinks it makes him sound cool.

Makes me wince.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 17-Feb-16 16:24:55

"Can I get an account for our new starter"? Is that wrong. There is a something, "an account" to "get". Surely...

Oysterbabe Wed 17-Feb-16 16:24:59

It's really, really common. I hear it everywhere and hate it.

Doublebubblebubble Wed 17-Feb-16 16:25:49

I'm British. Live here my entire life. I've said those sentences and would never think that they were an Americanism. Can I get you a cup of coffee etc. Why would that make anyone think they sound cool??

ReturnofSaturn Wed 17-Feb-16 16:27:04

Yes this must have come from North America.
I have been in Canada for almost two years and have just recently noticed that I now often say this! blush

tbtc20 Wed 17-Feb-16 16:27:07

Terry, yes maybe the account thing makes sense, but he did then go on to say "and get it...." (don't want to say too much about a private email).

Better would be to say "Please can you set up an account for our new starter and add him to...."

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 17-Feb-16 16:28:33

I absolutely hate "Can I get a coffee" etc. etc.

The two examples you've given wouldn't really bother me though - as there is no object or item they are getting. I might say, "can I get you to do this for me please" and I am not American and don't have Americanisms.

So 50% YABU and 50% YANBU from me grin.

wasonthelist Wed 17-Feb-16 16:30:13

Yanbu at all, but I suspect most people don't even notice.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 17-Feb-16 16:30:18

Doublebubble - "Can I get you a coffee" is fine. It's "can I get a coffee" that's the Americanism.

Doublebubblebubble Wed 17-Feb-16 16:30:30

*I have lived - whoops

Doublebubblebubble Wed 17-Feb-16 16:32:13

What about "can I get a coffee please?"
I'm not sure about this one now...lol

usual Wed 17-Feb-16 16:32:14

I doesn't bother me in the slightest, and I work in a coffee shop so hear it all the time.

tbtc20 Wed 17-Feb-16 16:32:48

"Can I get you a cup of coffee" is fine. You are getting something, although I think "Would you like a cup of coffee?" is preferable.

"Can I get a cup of coffee" is not fine. You are asking someone to get something for you or asking whether you can make one yourself in someone else's kitchen for example. "Please may I have a cup of coffee" is correct.

He asked me "could I get you to look at the data file" instead of "please can you look at the data file".

tbtc20 Wed 17-Feb-16 16:33:10

[goes off to actually look at sodding data file]

hooliodancer Wed 17-Feb-16 16:33:54

I hate it.

When I am out it drives me mad

"Can I get a beer?" No, you can't. You don't work here, the waiter will have to get it for you.

"Can I get a pizza" . No, the waiter will get the pizza for you etc etc.

Doublebubblebubble Wed 17-Feb-16 16:37:02

Oh I see. confused <<runs away from thread ashamedly>>

CombineBananaFister Wed 17-Feb-16 16:40:43

Doesn't really bother me tbh, as long as someone is reasonably polite and I can understand what they are saying - maybe I have lower expectations of where I work.
As for saying things that make him look cool, a lot of people adopt a way of talking that they think makes them look like they belong to a certain group/clique - I'm imagining my mums telephone voice when I say this grin

Katenka Wed 17-Feb-16 16:47:39

When you are in the US they look at you with an odd expression of you say 'please can I have..?'

Because it sounds like you are asking permission to order something.

I am guilty (as I go to the US a lot) of saying 'can I get...?' When I get back for a few days as I get off looks off people.

May be because I spend so much time over there, it doesn't bother me. I can see their point.

lazyarse123 Wed 17-Feb-16 16:53:25

I work in a shop, pisses me off. Can i get 20 cigs, NO you can't you don't work here,i do. May i or can i have 20 cigs. (we'll forget about the please because that's a whole thread on it's own.

oliviaclottedcream Wed 17-Feb-16 16:54:01

YADNBU. I hate it too... I also detest "I'm good", instead of "I'm well" and my current bugbear is "kinda".

The young chap currently on 'The Great Interior Design Challenge' says it constantly. He kinda looked at a kinda sofa and kinda wanted to kinda upcycle it with a kinda hession he found...

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 17-Feb-16 16:55:02

To be fair Doublebubble, there are worse crimes you could commit in life grin.

Doublebubblebubble Wed 17-Feb-16 16:59:02

No there isn't lol - I'm blaming Canadian dh for this <<runs away again>>

EssentialHummus Wed 17-Feb-16 17:08:59

I'm guilty of "Can I please get a pizza?" or a Big Mac, going by today's trending threads but feel somehow better about it for chucking a "please" in there.

SaucyJack Wed 17-Feb-16 17:15:03

I don't like "Can I get?", but tis true- "Please may I have?" doesn't work in coffee shops either.

The barista isn't my mother. I don't need to ask permission to have a double chocolate muffin this close to my dinner.

LogicalThinking Wed 17-Feb-16 17:16:44

I don't think it has anything to do with thinking it sounds cool.
Language evolves. I can't get wound up over it.

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