Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Hello

Apparently G was for, "Good Grief! I forgot to post on Saturday!!" My apologies to the A to Z community for dropping the ball.

Hello. We hardly ever use that formal greeting any more. We say hi, howdy, hey, hiya, etc. depending on age and the area of the country that we're from. Some times we go for demure and merely nod in greeting.

Hello was first recognized in print somewhere around 1833. Thomas Edison launched it as a telephone greeting in 1877.

I don't know about you, but hello sounds much too formal when I say it. Like I should be holding my teacup, lifting my pinkie, and with a sideways glance to avoid eye contact, speaking in a low voice, say, "Hellooo."

When I call a stranger, say a company rep, I always start with, "Hi, my name is Barb. I was wondering if you carry three-handled, moss-covered family credenzas...?" When I answer a call, I always say, "Hi. This is Barb..." If I'm greeting friends, it's usually either hey or howdy. The hey is because I never got over my dissatisfaction of not having been born Scout Finch. The howdy is because I've never gotten over my dissatisfaction of not having been born a cowboy.

How do you say hello? Are you good about saying it to strangers or are you shy?

Sometimes a smile and a hi, hello, hey, howdy can completely light up someone's day. So however you say it, just say it... with a smile.


  1. Very interesting! I always say hi or hello when talking to someone but on the phone I hardly ever use it. Strange how some words evoke specific ideas on us and we tend to avoid them. I enjoyed reading this, hope you had a nice Easter!

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

  2. I'll have to think about it. I use Hi a lot, but Hello on the phone. Love the "card." I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

  3. I usually use 'hi' and sometimes 'hey' when greeting a close friend or someone I haven't seen in a long time.

    Great post! Good luck on the rest of the A to Z Challenge!

    Sarah @ The Writer's Experiment

  4. I rarely use "hello" out loud except in answering my telephone. I often use "hello" as a written greeting in an email. I hardly ever start out with "Dear..." since it sounds kind of sexist or something not quite right.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  5. I definitely use a lot of hi's and hellos in both email and phone. :)

    Happy A-Zing!

  6. Food for thought. You are right, I rarely say hello. I think I will say hello more often after reading your post. I do like smiling at people in public places. They almost always smile back.

    Happy A to Z-ing!


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