I hear young people greet each other all the time with the most peculiar comment.
It goes; ‘Hi, yawl rite’. This comment is also now used extensively by shop workers who add the extra ‘their’ to the greeting with a slight inquisitive air at the end.
In this Olmypic (in joke) year one could be forgiven for thinking that this is a warning from the correspondent that there is a 2 masted wooden sailing craft approaching and about to complete some strange act of ceremony. This is incorrect.
I think I have now figured out the true meaning of this saying. If you listen closely, it actually translates into – ‘Hi, are you alright?’ It appears to be an attempt at finding out if someone is in good health/spirits and may actually be the devolvement of the original greeting – ‘Hello, how are you?’
I believe that the shop greeting is apparently the equivalent to ‘Excuse me, can I help you?’
Personally, when asked, especially by shop staff, if I’m ‘Awl rite’, I answer with a polite, ‘I am well thank you’ and I walk off or just ignore them.
I don’t want our language to be dissolved to the lowest common denominator please.