It’s “Please may I have” not “Can I get”

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“Can I get?” That’s emphatically not a thing.

Can I get a skinny latte*? Well no you can’t, because for one thing that’s my job, and for quite another it would really invalidate our insurance if I let you anywhere near the Gaggia. 

Please may I have does the job just wonderfully.  Polite, well-structured, and having that quintessentially British sense of decorum which is so important when frequenting US traders’ international outposts.

It seems that we are now unable to observe the established customer service protocols, whereby those employed to staff the tills and expertly froth milk are the ones who do the getting and we, the customer, request whatever it is that we feel we would quite like.  Every Starbucks and Costa queue is stacked full of people parroting a request that they ‘get’ their own breakfast; worse still is to hear someone asking if they can ‘get’ something from an a la carte menu – from a waiter whose very purpose is so obviously to do the getting.

Where does it end?  I no more want to ‘get’ my coffee than I want to clean the floor in a service station toilet or hoover up the broken glass when I absent-mindedly knock a bottle of wine off a supermarket shelf.  But I’m not going to the customer service desk to ask if I can get the mop out.

*And while I’m on it, latte isn’t a thing either.  At least, not if you’re after a coffee.  The Italians must laugh themselves silly.  “I’ll have a lar-tay”.  FFS.

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