What does "How do you do?" mean nowadays and how is it used? Explain the kissing rule.
Watching the English - Kate Fox
The Rules of Introduction
Grooming-talk starts with greeting talk. Weather-speak is needed in this context partly because greetings and introductions are such an awkward business for the English. The problem has become particularly acute since the decline of "How do you do?" as the standard, all purpose greeting. The "How do you do?" greeting - where the correct response is not to answer the question, but to repeat it back, "How do you do?", like an echo or a well-trained parrot - is still in use in upper-class and upper-middle circles, but the rest are left floundering, never knowing quite what to say. Instead of sneering at the old-fashioned stuffiness of the "How do you do?" ritual, we would do better to mount a campaign for its revival: it would solve so many problems.
As it is, our introductions and greetings tend to be uncomfortable, clumsy and inelegant. Among established friends, there is less awkwardness, although we are often still not quite sure what to do with our hands or whether to hug or kiss. The French custom of a kiss on each cheek has become popular among the chattering classes and some other middle and upper-middle-class groups, but is regarded as silly and pretentious by many other sections of society, particularly when it takes the form of the ´air-kiss´. Women who use this variant (and it is only women; men do not air-kiss, unless they are very camp gays, and even then it is done ´ironically´) are disparagingly referred to as "Mwah Mwahs". Even in the social circles where cheek-kissing is acceptable, one can still never be entirely sure whether one kiss or two is required, resulting in much awkward hesitation and bumping as the parties try to second-guess each other.
A. Fill in the gaps with an appropriate word or phrase.
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B. Choose the correct answer
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