Remember that this class goes on in a café, wi-fi included; a cup of “café con leche”, a couple of chocolate barley biscuits, and away we go!
Today, JC turned the tables on me: he started the lesson! He arrived, said, ‘Hi…how are you?’ Then he asked me what other ways there were of greeting each other. That sort of took me by surprise! Anyway, I gave him a few examples:
- Hi! Hello!
- Howdy! (Does anyone ever say this anymore?)
- How are you?
- How are things? (or the non-standard How’s things?)
- How is it going?
- How are you doing? (How’re you doing?)
- What have you been doing? (What’ve you been doing?)
- Good morning/afternoon/evening (or G’day!)
- How’s life? (How’s life (been) treating you?) (How’s life been?)
- What’s up?
- Long time no see!
Yo! (I told him this was used mainly in the US, common with hip-hoppers, but I’d actually forgotten that Rocky Balboa used it all the time as in, Yo! We did it! which meant that it probably started with Italian Americans rather than African Americans!)
This led to strange greetings from other cultures, for example, in some Asian countries where the usual greeting is ‘Where are you going?’ and that you aren’t expected to say where you are going exactly, that a simple, ‘nowhere special’ means that you’re well!
The Canarians have a funny one, too. They ask, ‘What’s the matter?’ or, worse, in the past – ‘What was wrong?’ and the expected answer is ‘Nothing!’ meaning all’s well!
For reasons I don’t remember, this led on to the use of Twitter. He wanted to know its purpose and who use it. So, there was a bit more TTT here, with a quick lecture on the power and uses of Twitter plus lexicon he was unfamiliar with:
the hash symbol, tags, register, sign up, earthquake, abbreviation, which, in turn, led to examples such as l8, l8er, CU, and a short discussion on teenagers, SMS, and their bad grammar and orthography.
I so happened to have a lot of tabs opened on my browser at that instant, and this prompted a quick tutorial on CPU usage, RAM and bandwidth.
JC’s pronunciation and use of language was generally quite good, except he misused the article in ‘See you the next Thursday!’
If you know of any other strange greetings, I’ll be keen to know!