I find it amusing when I think of the days I used to conduct classes in Conversational English for ladies. The students ranged from various backgrounds and age groups, the youngest being newly married ladies in the twenties and the oldest in their forties and fifties who were mostly mothers-in law wanting to visit their American daughters-in-law living in the U.S.
The first lesson would commence with self introductions and the basic courtesies. For instance ‘How do you do ‘is not a question, I would tell the class and all that they have to say is ‘How do you do ‘and I would be met with astonished glances. Again when some one asks How are you? , they don’t expect you to reel out all your ailments but just ‘I am fine’ would do as an answer. Also please refrain from asking personal questions because it is not good manners, I would emphasize.
MAAM, do we have to introduce ourselves just by our name or with the suffix of our husband’s name? they would invariably ask and my answer would invariably be, ‘ you can use the suffix if you please’ and they were happy to do so.
Now after a lapse of a decade or so, I realized ‘ how do you do’ has become hackneyed, so has the response to how are you which is being replaced with ‘I am good or very well, thank you.’ Also that attaching the spouse’s name is pass , because the current fashion is using your name with no suffixes , or the suffix of your father’s name which makes you wonder about the marital status of the person. Does it matter? I wonder.
n.meera raghavendra rao