Young people today, or at least some of them, have the habit of not just saying 'Hi,' but of turning a simple greeting in passing into a question: 'You all right?'
I don't suppose they really want an answer - well, actually, my athlete's foot's flared up again and I've an infection in my eye but at least my cystitis is improving - but I feel obliged to give them one. Not like that, of course. Just a 'yes, fine,' but that necessarily ends with a 'and you, you okay?'
By which time they're several steps passed and have moved on to the next passer-by's state of well-being.
But just saying, 'Hi,' in response seems rude. They're only being polite after all. Or they think they are. What they're actually doing is causing me untold angst and sending me rushing to Miss Manner's Book of Etiquette, which having been written before the days of, 'awright?' is no use whatsoever.
So I'm turning to you, dear readers of a largely similar age I suspect. What is the correct response? Does one simply disregard the question but smile graciously as I assume the Queen does when she doesn't hear what someone says?
Or does one stop, take the young person by the arm, and ask in the nicest possible way if they could refrain from asking personal questions to women of a certain age brought up to answer when spoken to?