Q1: A little bird said if I were a man, I couldn't greet a pretty woman by saying, "Hey, Good-looking'.
Is it true? Why?
Q2: Is it vulgar to say "I laugh my ass off"? Some people suggested it was bad to say that and I had better say " I laugh my head off", but some people thought it was okay. I am lost. What do you think about?
Thanks in advance!
Thank you for your answers. I'd like to bear your advice in my mind.
- I am wondering why 'good-looking' carries negative connation, and is considered as sexual harrassment. It sounds good at face value.
- And does it only refer to a woman only? Can it refer to a man?
- I am a woman, but can I address another woman 'good-looking'?
- Are there any positive and appropriate words for me to address for a handsome man and handsome woman in colloquial speech?
Could you please give me a hand again?
To say "Hey, Good-looking" to a woman you don't know means that you are seeing her as a sex-object, before you know anything about her. You are devaluing her as a person by referring immediately to her looks, and implying that the only reason you are greeting her is because she looks good. (And it might be, but you don't say it).
If a man is in a situation where flirting is expected, this is acceptable. However, in most places in the English-speaking world, it has become impolite (in the last 30-40 years) to say things like this.
If you are a woman, and say "Hey, Good-looking" to another woman, she is likely to think you are a lesbian. (I can't tell what's acceptable in lesbian circles though, because I don't know).
If you are a woman, and say "Hey, Good-looking" to a man, he will interpret this as a sexual 'come-on'.
In general, you don't refer to another person's looks in this way unless you are already in, or attempting to establish, a sexual situation; or you are addressing a friend jokingly and you know they'll take it that way.
I've been learning a lot from your answers. Thank you very much!
I wonder if the term 'good looking', used as a form of address, pre-dates the Hank Williams song: YouTube - Hank Williams - Hey Good Lookin' ...
Thank you for your answer.
About 'good-looking' if translated literally , we Chinese adopt different attitude to it. We often address friendly people, especially our friends, co-workers, 'good-looking' in Chinese in informal occastions no matter what their genders are. I had been thinking what the equivalent terms in English were.
Now I see there're different cultural backgrounds between the languages.
And thank you for the vedio about Hank Willians. As I knew, he was a tycoon in American country music field.
The word "tycoon" is unusual in that context. We do say "business tycoon", but that's the only sort of tycoon I'm used to meeting, outside history books. But we do use other sorts of ruler in the musical world - king, queen, emperor.... If you didn't want to go that far (some people do), you could say he was "a star", "a leading light", "a legend" or "an icon". There are other words, not so complimentary [though not at all pejorative]: "singer", "songster", "crooner", "troubadour"... (but you can use a thesaurus )
Last edited by thedaffodils; 01-Sep-2008 at 16:08.
Is it okay for a man say the following words to his business parnter or a female professional in business occasion?
eg.1 You're sexy.
eg.2 You look hot.
'Sexy' or 'hot' reminds me of sex-object.