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Eduardo Cortes
Formal greeting Is "how are you doing" a formal greeting?
Mar 18, 2018 1:19 AM
Comments · 8
LOL! I don't know. I'm 59 so maybe you're right. I'm showing my age!
March 18, 2018


I haven't heard How do you do? in the past 35 years.  Pleased to meet you is still common.

What are the chances that you are the only person still saying How do you do?  :)

March 18, 2018

I agree with Susan. This is a 'middle of the road' greeting. i.e. neither very formal or informal.

Extremely formal: Hello Mr Cortes, how are you doing today?

Extremely informal (and slang): Sup?     <- Slang of "What's up?"

Generally, using sir/madam or the person's last name makes it formal.

March 18, 2018

I would call ¨How are you doing?¨ a standard greeting (midrange between very informal and very formal).   There are some greetings that are more formal, like ¨How are you, sir?¨ and many that very informal, like ¨Hi.  How ya´ doin´?¨ 


March 18, 2018
Actually, tempus, you do bring up an interesting question about language change. Word usage can indeed change from just one generation to the next with older folks not really noticing. It presents no barrier to communication, but you do make a point. I'm not sure how valid your point is in this particular case, but it does remind me of something similar. My second language is German, which is why I'm here, to use the community tutors just for informal chat in German. And, the other day I was listening to a 20-year old interview of the late former German Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, who served in the mid- 70s to early 80s in office. He was born in 1928 in Hamburg. He used a German word that means "request" or "ask" in the interview, one I hadn't heard before,  rather than one that is heard more commonly to say the same thing. So, I asked one of the native speaker German community tutors about the word, and she looked at me funny and said, "Oh that is REALLY OLD." There's an online dictionary, LEO, which is great for German and about 7 or so other languages, and within the program it tells you on some words their use- frequency. On the word I was looking up that was so old, as the tutor described, they had this graph showing the use of the word from about 1700-2000 and showing how often the word was used in the past and how often it is used today. That particular word peaked around 1900 but has been in decline since, taking a real nose dive after about 1950. I found the use of that particular word Schmidt used so rare today, that the word I would have expected to hear, was used well over 100 times more frequently than the older one. So, these are really useful tools. I tell people here sometimes to avoid certain words, because they are so out-of-date, and you really don't want to sound like you're out of the 19th Century in the words you use in any language. 
March 18, 2018
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Eduardo Cortes
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language