What's up with "what's up?"?

Anastasia   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 06:50 GMT
I was just wondering, how can you answer a "what's up" question?
People ask me MAAANY MAAANY times a day and my answer is always "nothing". Is there something else you can say when people ask you that? Do they really expect you to talk about "what is up" or is it kind of like an old English "how do you do" which can be answered with another "how do u do"?
I mean if someone came up to you and said "what's up" would it be OK to say something like "hi", "hey", "what's up"? What do Americans usually say?

Thanks for your help
Eastie   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 08:52 GMT
"what's up?" - what's going on?, how's it going?, what are you up to?, how are you?, what do you want?

possible answers:

not much, what's up with you?; this 'n' that; just hangin'; or just tell them what you've been up to, what's on your mind, or how you're feeling.
zi   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 14:12 GMT
Can we answer with : "I'm ok or I'm fine" ?
Peggy   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 14:14 GMT
Is "what's up" informal or too familiar ? I mean to whom you English speakers say "what's up" ? you won't say it to your boss, I suppose. My American friend told me to avoid it. What do you think ?
Julian   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 21:28 GMT
We usually say "What's up?" to our buddies and casual acquaintances. It would not be wise to say it to your boss (unless you've already established a casual relationship), your teacher, clients/customers, or people you've just met.

zi, "I'm okay" or "I'm fine" is normally not the response I'd expect to get if I were to ask "what's up?" Usually I get "oh, nuthin' much" or they would proceed to tell me what's been happening in their lives.
Restroom   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 22:09 GMT
What's up is a commonly heard word or words.
Restroom Guy   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 22:11 GMT
What's up, nothing much, or just what's up.
Jim   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 22:23 GMT
Which do you use "I have one." or "I have got one."? Is it a regional thing?
Amy   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 22:24 GMT
yes, but sometimes when they say " i've got one" i hear it as "i got one" maybe because they say it fast
Clark   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 22:29 GMT
Yes, Spanish pronunciation has already affected West Cosat pronunication. I would imagine that if a person saw the town name "El Cajon" and he was not from Southern California, he would not pronounce the "j" like an "h" (the way Spanish does).

As for the example I gave, it is not the best one as I heard two and forgot both of them. One was one that I said, and another was one that my math prof. said. I shall have to listen for another example when I am talking.

But maybe I could pose a question to English-speakers that are familiar with the West Coast accent; do you think that there is any grammatical difference between your English and my English? I am mainly concerned about grammatical difference among verbs.
Jim   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 22:31 GMT
Whether or not the Bible is the most important book is debatable. Of course you might say it is the most important one to Christian fundamentalists.

Also the Christian god is just called "God" whilst Zeus, Thor, Shiva, Allah, etc. are all gods too ... or at least there are/were those who believed this.

I suppose the Moon was named first and the other moons were named after it using "moon" as a generic name rather than a proper noun.
Jim   Saturday, October 25, 2003, 22:35 GMT
If the plural of "radius" is "radii", why isn't the plural of "bus" "bi"?
If the plural of "formula" is "formulae", why isn't the plural of "sofa" "sofae"?
If the plural of "man" is "men", why isn't the plural of "fan" "fen"?
If the plural of "deer" is "deer", why isn't the plural of "engineer" "engineer"?
If the plural of "mouse" is "mice", why isn't the plural of "house" "hice"?
If the plural of "goose" is "geese", why isn't the plural of "moose" "meese"?
If the plural of "die" is "dice", why isn't the plural of "tie" "tice"?

Why ... because there exist irregularities in English.
Californian   Sunday, October 26, 2003, 05:56 GMT
I always say "What's up" and I expect the person to say nothing. If they same something other than nothing it catches me off guard. "What's up" is a substitute for "Hey," to my friends and me.
messire lavoisel   Sunday, October 26, 2003, 13:52 GMT
Some French Hip-Hop dancers use "What's up" exactly the way your friend and you do, Californian. That is probably because the Hip-hop Dance culture is way more organised as a network with many international contests than the Rap is, although there are much more famous rappers than famous Hip-Hop dancers.
zi   Sunday, October 26, 2003, 19:55 GMT
To Californian
The American advertisement "what's up !" for an American beer was hugely popular in France. It wasn't broadcasted on TV nor on radio but it came through the internet.