Letter: Hi] Whoops . . . Hello

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The Independent Online
Sir: The greeting 'Hi' seems to have taken over in the whole of the South of England from the more traditional 'Hello'.

Avid listeners to Radio 4 will know that it is now spreading northwards and has reached the Midlands, or at least Ambridge, where 'Hi' has become the common greeting, unless of course the person concerned is greeting a horse, in which case 'Hello' is still favoured.

It also appears that 'Hi' has to be delivered at the top of the scale of the human voice, resulting in a kind of Oxford classlessness.

Yet for those of us who like a greeting to sound sincere, to have a weight about it and a fellow feeling of warmth and commitment, the old-fashioned and dying 'Hello' must be treasured and protected as a symbol of the world where solid handshakes and firm voices give confidence for the future.

Yours faithfully,


MP for Sheffield Brightside (Lab)

St Paul's Chambers