is it bad manners to correct a checkout girl

…when she says "Put in your PIN number please " ?

The pedantic, didactic side of me wants to say "It’s not a PIN number, honey, it’s just a PIN ".

The sensible, pragmatic side of me says, “why bother …”

[Modding] Moved to IMHO from Great Debates. [/Modding]

And I’d vote for “Why bother?”

I wouldn’t, the phrase is incorrect but widely used. The clerk just wants to do his/her job, not engage in nitpicking. It’s hard to resist some wise-ass answers to their routine questions:
“Could you find everything OK?”
“No, I couldn’t find the hockey pucks.”

“Do you want those potatoes in a bag?”
“They’re already in one.”

I vote “bad manners” to correct a stranger about something so trivial.

Unless your name is Henry, and her name badge reads Eliza, I think it’s best you keep your grammar lessons to yourself.

Checkout GIRL? Really? When are you, the 1950s? They’re Checkout Hos now.

And yeah, don’t bother. Checkout Hos are there to facilitate transferring ownership of the store’s property to you, not to engage you in stimulating, grammatically correct discourse. As long as you know what she’s talking about she’s met her obligation.

Your pedantic side is wrong. “PIN number” is the better formulation because it eliminates confusion. Is she asks “What’s your PIN?” it could mean your pin number or the Huntsman button on your lapel.

So not only are you being a jerk for correcting her, you’re correcting something that isn’t even wrong.

Yes it is incredibly bad manners. Haven’t you got something better to do than spend your time insulting employees whose lives are already filled to the brim with annoying people?

“PIN number” is wrong? What the hell else am I supposed to type into the automatic ATM teller machine?

I vote for pedantic.
People still call an ATM, an ATM machine.
For that matter back when it still meant something we refereed to SALT as the SALT treaty.
(For you younger folks, Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty).

People working in retail encounter rude, arrogant, jerkish people everyday. She’ll just mark you down as one of those. Why not go the whole hog and talk on your mobile while she’s serving you?

Less bad manners, more it just makes you look like a dick.

Defintely rude to correct a stranger on something so utterly trivial.

And it’s not a hot water heater, just a water heater. Why would you have to heat hot water?

But who cares?

Let’s just hope the OP isn’t queuing in the “10 items or less” aisle.

I’d only correct her if she worked at the DSW Shoe Warehouse.

SALT stood for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.

The word Talks was exchanged for Treaty only after the talks resulted in a treaty.

For a while, it was called the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Treaty.

Oh, those were heady days for cunning linguists!

I’m inclined to agree. I can’t think of a better way to put it that would satisfy the OP as correct, yet wouldn’t sound awkward or have the potential to be misunderstood.

“PIN number” is redundant, but redundancy does not necessarily equal incorrectness, especially when it makes things clearer.

I believe that Miss Manners says that it’s always bad manners to correct someone’s manners unless they request your expertise, or you are their parent and they are a minor child.

I think grammar ought to go by the same rules.

I don’t recollect ever being asked by a checkout girl “**What’s your PIN **?”, and I doubt anybody else has either.