We all have our linguistic pet hates. I have written before about my thoughts on ‘busy‘ people. Now I’d like to share my feelings about ‘that’s fine’.
When you tell somebody that, no, you won’t do some extra favour they asked for, and they reply ‘that’s fine’, as if you were somehow holding on for their permission before exercising your freedom to refuse.
When somebody asks to meet you at the last minute, you say you’ve got other plans already, and they reply ‘that’s fine’, as if you somehow owed it to them to be constantly available, but they granted you permission for this one time to honour previous arrangements.
When you’ve been struggling with a piece of work or an assignment, as other responsibilities have come piling up, you tell your colleague or boss that you might need to reconsider scope or deadlines because you can’t really see yourself finishing the task to the level expected within the delays expected, and offer a clear, workable alternative that will not compromise the whole edifice – and they reply ‘that’s fine’, with no further word of support or encouragement – superbly granting you their blessing for that solution you found.
Please, find something else to say. Please don’t ‘that’s fine’ me.