Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: About Usage for my thesis
Question: Dear All,

I am working on my thesis about Usages with emotions. I'm researching how emotions affect usages. The main resources are from fictions (novels) and corpora.

The problem I am confronted with is the difference between ''How are you doing?'' and ''How you doing?''. Here, I want to ask you some questions as experts and native speakers of English. First, do you think ''How you doing?'' is more acceptable or usual than ''How are you doing?''. Secondly, as native speakers, how do you tell the difference emotionally or intuitively between ''How are you doing?'' and ''How you doing?'' ?

I am looking forward to hear from you soon.
Thank you.

Reply: Hi,
First, 'How are you doing?' spoken as such (i.e. with each word
pronounced), is relatively formal and most probably rarely used in
every day speech used with familiars. A more formal greeting would
be 'How are you?'. 'How you doing?' (or most probably 'How you
doin'?' (where /n/ replaces /ng/) is more expected in normal,
everyday, non-formal conversations. Even less formal would be
'Howzzit?' (i.e. short for 'How is it?').
As for acceptability....that's a question of social etiquette and
as such varies according to the situation, the participants, the
particular dialect being used and a host of other variables.
As to your last question concerning 'emotions'....that also varies
according to the individual person. For ex. an older person being
addressed by a younger person that is a total stranger to him/her
could very well be somewhat upset or at least surprised if the
younger speaker used 'How you doin'?' But it depends on how 'open'
the older person is, whether he/she even hears the difference, how
used the older person is to this more colloquial expression, etc.
I hope this helps!
Reply From: Robert A Papen      click here to access email
Date: 31-Aug-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: About Usage for my thesis    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (03-Sep-2013)
  2. Re: About Usage for my thesis    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (04-Sep-2013)

Back to Most Recent Questions