When Good is Not Good


I am on a crusade, and it is not ‘good,’ at least not in the grammatical sense. I’ll bet you do this all the time: when someone asks you how you are, you answer ‘good.’ For example, I ‘live’ with a bunch of fellow English professors and I hear choruses of “How are you,” followed by “Good” sung in the hallowed hallways all day long.

Personally I never thought anything of it until I was teaching a grammar course to a group of very sharp administrative assistants and someone raised the question about responding ‘good’ in response to the standard ‘How are you?” query. The question stopped me in my tracks. I took a quick peek at Purdue’s Online Writing Lab and I discovered that to respond that you are good is to really say you are a moral, upright, fine human being. It does NOT mean that you are healthy, wealthy or wise!  The correct response to the proverbial question is “I am well,” and of course another option is “I am fine.”

Whatever your pleasure, I am on a self-appointed mission to promote wellness wherever I go!