This abomination is rampaging through the United States (people intend it to mean "I'm ready to serve the next person in line") and it drives me crazy! I always want to say, "No, you can't help who's next, this is just the way we're lined up. There's nothing you can do about it." I think it should be "Can I help whoever's next," or - here's a daring thought - how about "Next, please." Am I being overly sensitive? Is there some way of seeing this as acceptable that I'm missing? Is it British? (In which case I certainly apologize for calling it an abomination, and will try to be more accepting!) Does it bother anyone else? Any comments?
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Comments  (Page 4) 
Well, whatever it is that's haunting you, it has already been long forgotten as far as I'm concerned.
My original mistake was probably not placing a smiley after my NO!!! , thus: Emotion: smile
Thanks, Jim. Emotion: smile
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
It is just as horrible as the "whole nother".
KhoffWelcome, Dean! I'm honored that my post inspired someone to join the Forum. How did you happen to come across it? (It was posted quite a while ago.) I hope you enjoy the discussions here.

I searched for "can i help who's next" at google.com and followed the first link.

Sorry if this discussion has been irritating people.

It's not really the analysis per se that is troublesome. The troublesome spots are value judgments that pass for analysis, as in the opening salvo:

This abomination
and, less subtly, in a response:
I just can't stand those who are too lazy to speak with some degree of intelligence

Maybe I should have restrained myself from including the sentence quoted above (third one) and my sincere apologies go out to anyone who was offended by this. I never stopped to think that some of the readers in this forum may, in fact, use this overanalyised exocentric ethnomacrosememe and are slightly more sensitive towards it's criticism. Bottom line - I don't care if it is grammatically or semantically correct.....it sounds stupid. I now feel it necessary to state that these are merely my personal opinions and I am in no way claiming to be an expert or making the assumption that I am correct. Also, in future I will try to be more of an analyzer rather than an over-analyzer.

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The sad thing is that when people say "can i help who's next",they think it's the correct way to speak.They just don't care.It's just as bad as going to the same coffee shop everyday for years,within the same time frame everyday,ordering the same thing everyday.The same thing everyday,and the girl behind the counter everyday,the same girl,ask's "can i help you sir?"...There must be nothing but static,or some kind of constant buzzing going on between those ears. Unfortunatly,that's the majority of the fast service workforce.Who manages these ...
Bottom line - I don't care if it is grammatically or semantically correct.....it sounds stupid.

Hee, hee, hee! Emotion: smile Lighten up, guy! It sounds charming and cute! Emotion: wink