Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm doing good. You?

Last week was a bust as far as the HFTH challenge was concerned. I lost zero pounds, and oh, does it ever hurt to say that. Highly discouraging, I tell you. The only bright spot was that I did not gain any. I was so bummed that I didn't even blog about it and link up like I was supposed to (sorry, girls). But alright...I'm shaking it off, it's a new week, so here we go! Nothing but fruit and veggies and protein this week. No sugar cookie-makin', no secret mugs of homemade hot chocolate, no pizza at birthday parties. I am back on the straight and narrow.

There is no decent segue that can be used in this instance, or if there is, I'm too tired to think of it. So I am going to dive right into my random question for y'all.

When someone asks you, "How are you doing?", how do you respond? Do you say, "I'm doing good", or "I'm doing well", or do you use a completely different word?

I grew up saying, I'm doing good. I realize this is improper, although after googling it, there seems to be some debate about it. I'm not really too worried about it one way or the other, except that there are a few people that I know who are sticklers for saying I'm doing well. Which is fine, because, again, that is proper. If they happen to ask me how I'm doing first, and I reply with good, and then in turn they reply with well...well, then, I am left feeling a little verbally incompetent. Even though I know the correct way. And I'm just refusing to use it.

There is this sweet little man at church, for instance, as friendly as can be, and he always approaches with the pleasantry, "How are you?" And my mind races. I know how he is going to reply when I return the question to him. And sure, I could also reply, "I'm doing well," but after years of saying "good", it just doesn't sound like me. If that makes any sense. So I usually go with I'm doing great! or Fine! which really, I don't know if that is any more proper than using good.

So I know that I have at least a couple of teacher readers who are probably cringing at this unrepentant display of bad English. I'm really sorry. Please feel free to throw in your two cents.

And you can also feel equally free to tell me that you use good, too. There's got to be a couple of you, my partners in crime, those of you who squirm inwardly when the proper well is returned after your improper good is already out there, floating in the air between you and the One Who Speaks the Good English.

So. How you doin'?

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37 comments:

Tater Mama said...

Girl, I've struggled with the same thing, so in the last few years, I've started saying what my Mom says, which is, "Oh, I'm doing very well, thank you." For some reason, adding the "very" makes it sound better to me. I don't know if it's just a southern thing or what....

Rachelle said...

I'm a "good" person myself. I too know someone who also loves to correct me. I just say it and smile and wait for the "well". This person also does not like when I say "y'all"...and Lord knows I'm going to keep saying y'all! ;)

Smilingsal said...

"Good girls dance well" is the axiom that teachers use to help students remember that "good" is an adverb, not an adjective and "well" is an adjective.

So standard English usage dictates: "I am doing well."

Yes, I am an English teacher. Please don't hate me.

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

I'm sure there is so much wrong with my default answer of "I'm good". Honestly, some days when I use such an answer to the common "How are you?" question I have not been very 'good' - but I am feeling fine and things have been going well. :)

Now I am hearing my boys do the exact same thing. We've never been real sticklers for perfectionism in English, but I probably should teach them the correct usage. :)

Don't beat yourself up over the lack of loss past week. It is a great perspective you had when you wrote "at least I didn't gain any." I think you are doing so great.

Colored With Memories said...

thanks jackie! i'm doing good, too.

i've always been good.

i honestly didn't realize it was incorrect...how embarrassing!

more awful that i used to teach language arts of all things in a certain public school district. ahem. dallas. cough. cough.

oops.

kaleytaylor said...

I have a habit of replying with "Good, you?". Oh well...I'm sure there are many people out there that would cringe at that, as well as the grammar errors on my blog, but you know what? It's just me! Take it or leave it! :)

And Jackie, keep up the good work on the HFTH! Not gaining anything during this cookie filled, calorie-laden season is a huge accomplishment! You're doing GOOD! :) hee heee....

And speaking of cookies, dear Lord, I (finally, two month later) made your pumpkin cookies. Those things are little pumpkiny nuggets of heaven. I gave myself a stomach ache from eating too many. Not exactly HFTH. But oh so good!!!!!!

Rach@In His Hands said...

I just answer honestly...."well" may NOT always be the most honest answer! Occasionally I answer "well", but sometimes I answer "good" or "great" or "fantastic" or "fabulous"!
More often than not the other person will smile and answer back that they are "great", etc. too!
I think politeness & kindness trump proper grammar, in my opinion...

Wendy said...

I say "I'm doin' fine" or else "pretty good." You know, with the whole Southern accent thing. Unless one is a stickler for grammar, I think most people make casual conversation like that the way they grew up talking. (I guess if their mamas were sticklers, they grew up saying "well.")

People in this area say "you'uns" instead of "y'all". I think "y'all" is stuck in my vocabulary for life, but it'll be interesting to see which phrase my kids pick up.

ttm said...

I guess I've never thought about it. I do say I'm doing well thanks, or I say I'm good thanks. Is it still incorrect if I omit the "doing" from the good response?
PS-EJ's Daddy wants me to tell you he says "I'm doing well thanks!"

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

I just say "good." No need for the "I'm doing."

Funny how we always say "good," even if we're not.

Aspiemom said...

Well, you ARE "good", aren't you? *wink* I would think anything is satisfactory that doesn't have the word "ain't" in it, or a double negative! Well, good, okay, fine.

We've had this same discussion on the CF forum, but in our case it isn't the grammatically correct issue, but the honesty. People tend to ask that question, not really caring to hear an answer- it's just a habit. I mean, people sometimes ask it and are PAST you by the time they are done, so obviously they don't want an answer!

But with many of us CFers we know quite a few people are really wanting to know "How ARE you?". Then, you want to give an honest answer without dumping on them. (I absolutely cannot say "fine" when I have a migraine coming on or am really short of breath!) So in my case, I like to say "Well, I've been better, but I've been worse, too!". That way I'm being honest and optimistic..and if they want more info they can ask!

I'm glad you aren't beating yourself up too much on the HOTF. As you probably read, most of us didn't do well last week. You have a good attitude. I think you're doing a really good job having lots 2.5lbs. Or was it 3.5? And with this week's determination I am sure you're going to see good news on the scale this week.

Aspiemom said...

You really are a sweet person, my friend!

photomama said...

I am not proper , but I respond by saying "good, and you?"

Colored With Memories said...

oh...and i thought i should redeem myself by letting you know although i taught language/history/literature, I was a MATH major...got thrown into the language arts world unwillingly!

it's funny though...because i'm a spanish minor...i always say i really learned proper english through the study of spanish...and in spanish you say "estoy bien", not "estoy buena"...so, it makes perfect sense to me now that i've put it through my spanish grid!

Jennifer @ Taking My Time said...

It's usually either, "I'm good, thanks, how are you?" To which they say they are good too, because we ALL speak that way around here! :) Sometimes I replace good with fine, whichever pops out, really. When I ask my dad that question, he reponds with, "Oh, 'bout half." Being honest I guess, he's not a bubbly person...

Gretchen said...

Honey, I feel ya...I'm up a pound...And, I'm a fellow butcherer of the English language. Yet, as a speech pathologist, I remind myself that language is 2 things: arbitrary and dynamic.

I'm doing good, too.

xxxooogretchen

Rachel said...

I usually say "good" if it's a good day, but I'm too honest. If I'm tired, cranky, or sad, I just flat out tell people. It makes for interesting conversations.

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Yeah, if things are terrible, I can't make myself say I'm doing well OR good. :) And if I am in fact doing okay, I use both of those words... it depends on who I'm answering.

Jules from "The Roost" said...

No gain is a hugh victory, especially this time of year! I usually say I am doing great ( life could always be worse than the present) what about you? A statement and question rolled into one! :)

Growin' with it! said...

i knew a guy who would always say "i'm fair to middlin'"....not quite sure what that ever meant! so good sounds nice and safe.

Sara@ Butterville said...

A friend of mine always says. "Never been better in my whole life."
To which I usually say back "Really? You need to get out more then!"
Because he's talking about being in our house with a barky dog and 2 rambungous kids screaming their guts out cause Uncle Nick is here. And He's never been better in his whole life? I can think of at least a gazillion things...He just says it to save the conversation and not add any negatives. But I'm a truthy! Tell me the truth! How are you REALLY?

Casey said...

This is where the people pleaser in me comes out. If I know the other person is a "proper" type of person than I will respond with "well". This also probably means that I am not really close with that person (b/c why would I hang with super proper people?!?! *smile*) and so I don't usually give a truly honest answer.

If it's someone that I know better asking me that question I feel free to say "good" or to say honestly how I am feeling.

sara said...

Mine is usually.....I'm good, and you? Well doesn't sound right to me either!

Marci @Finding Joy in the Journey said...

Hmmm...I never really thought about it! Isn't it funny we answer this question many times a day without even stopping and thinking!

It really depends on who is asking. If it is just a polite greating I usually respond "Good, We're good, and you?" with a smile and head nod. If it's someone who is actually asking I mmight respond with "tired", "ready for this day to be over". "hanging in there", "okay", or "pretty good, actually" before I turn it back to the "and you?".

Alana said...

The weight loss thing is just HARD. There are no two ways around it. I'm down 17 pounds now, but it has taken MONTHS, like 5 or more...crazy. I just hope I can make it through the holiday season without too much damage. Something about the cold weather just makes me want to eat!

I think I say "I am doing well.", but I'm not sure it has always been that way...

Sandy Toes said...

Doing good so far..it's only Monday..ask me Thursday!! :)
-sandy toes

RosyRose said...

Me bad at english! I just say whatever I feel like. Unless I'm really trying to impress. Then I say horrific things that I just wish I could pull back into my mouth. My standard is "good, You?"

Lois Lane II said...

Lol! I teach journalistic grammar and style (a little different from typical English -- we use AP style, but our grammar is the same, obviously), and my husband makes fun of me when I use "good" or "well" wrong. =)

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

I always said 'good' until just a couple years ago when I learned it wasn't proper...I had no idea before. And now, I try to use 'well' but I'm not always successful. I smiled as I read your post because I have this little dilema going on inside my head, like a little conversation with myself, every time someone asks me how I'm doing. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Elena said...

Mary comes up to me several times a day and says, "Hi, How are you?" and I always say, "Fine, thank you and how are you?" She always gives me a big smile and runs off. I didn't coach her on it so she just picked up on that by herself. She is such a social bug so I am not surprised! I don't know if I am using proper English or not, but she sure enjoys it!

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

I am good, or Fine are answers most days, however, there are days where that would not be honest. On those days I go with "Surviving," or "Well, we are here!"

Some how the idea of proper English in answering this question has never entered my brain!

Jenn said...

I'm Good! I'm also an English minor. But, the way I see it there is a difference between "proper" English and the way we talk. To tell you the truth I don't even write with proper english! The English language can be pretty confusing with all its exceptions to the rules!

Carolina Mama said...

Let's see English major that I am with Creative Writing, I have been indoctrinated to notice. However, I do say 'doing good' sometimes. I also say, "Fine" a lot too. So it depends. Mt. Man says, 'It's all good!' ;)

Gwendolyn said...

I always say "I'm pretty good!" I didn't realize that I always said this until Owen started talking and that's how he answered EVERY SINGLE PERSON that asked him how he was doing and my husband informed me that he got it from me. How weird that I never noticed. LOL

As an aside...my mother-in-law almost always answers this question with "Well, I'm as good as can be expected." This makes me laugh every time, I don't know why. I picture Eeyore. :o)

SarahHub said...

I used to say "I'm good," but then I worked for a publisher and that answer seemed sooo low-class there. So I switched to "I'm well. How are you?" It's a little stuffy, but now I'm used to it!

Krystal said...

Oh my gosh...this is me! I always worry that I am using the wrong word and it doesn't help that my 17 yr old nephew likes to correct me...but I say good too!

mamajil said...

I am doing well....I am a "well" user...my teens say GOOD.....so I haven't done very well in teaching them to use "well".... in the end does it really matter?? Good, well...fine.... it gets the point across... :) I'm definitely not a stickler....