How to answer the age-old question, “How are you?”

The Edge, November 4, 2006

A recent study has shown the question “How are you?” is clearly the most commonly asked question by humans. For animals, it was “Shall we sniff?” and computers, “When shall I randomly close this application?”
The “How are you?” question came in oodles ahead of second place “What’s the meaning of life?” and there was a tie for third, “Would you like fries with that?“ and “Do I look fat in this?”

While “How are you?” has many, many answers, here’s a list of the top 50 responses:
  • Good
  • Fine
  • Well
  • Terrible
  • Pleasant
  • Sick
  • Not telling
  • Do you really want to know?
  • Nifty
  • Novel
  • Nauseous
  • Better than you
  • Irritable, go away!
  • Because I am
  • Why do you ask?
  • Are you serious
  • Speak up
  • 65 per cent water
  • You tell me
  • Mind your own business
  • Did you hear that?
  • If only I knew
  • I have leprosy
  • Don’t bother me
  • Do I know you?
  • Don’t beat around the bush, just say it!
  • Who sent you?
  • Let’s take this outside
  • Not in front of the children
  • I beg your pardon
  • Do you really, really want to know?
  • I didn’t do it
  • 5 kg over my goal weight, you?
  • Still breathing
  • Open to suggestions
  • Fighting fit
  • Over it
  • I could tell you but I’d have to kill you
  • I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that
  • No speak English
  • Can you write that down
  • Interesting statement you make
  • What a ridiculous thing to ask
  • And you kiss your mother with that mouth?
  • That came out wrong, didn’t it!
  • Craving sweet potato ice-cream
  • Signed, sealed and delivered
  • Not interested
  • Like a duck in the mud
  • Do you really, really, reeeeeally want to know?
  • You definitely need a Tic-Tac or something because your breath STINKS!
The very first person to ask the question “How are you?” was Adam when he first met Eve. In the Edeenian dialect they spoke, “How are you?” is pronounced “Hubber hubber.” Keep that in mind the next time someone asks you “How you are”!

Did you know: if 6 billion humans said “How are you?“ only once in one day (taking 1 second to say it ), more than 190 years of time would be wasted from the small talk. in this time another billion people would have been born. This time could have been used far more productively playing solitaire. (though a billion births is pretty productive—hey, maybe if we all stopped saying "How are you" that would solve the population problem???)


All items on this site are written by Scott Wegener, a multi award-winning Australian creative writer, specialising in fun Christian dramas and articles. He believes in looking on the lighter side of life while still valuing the eternal seriousness of life's decisions. This site is essentially a place Scott stores his works, sometimes without much copy-editing (do forgive any spelling/grammar creativity you spot on this site that comes free of charge due to his slight dyslexia).