I have a lot of Irish coworkers that often greet me by saying "What's the story?"
What's a good way to answer to this greeting?
Also, does this ever get used in the UK, US or Australia?
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The Phrase Finder traces the origin of the different forms of colloquial greetings from which "what's the story" probably derives:
In the mid-20th century, there was something of a fashion in the US for jocular greetings, in the same vein as the nonsense 'enthusiasm' phrases like the bee's knees, the cat's pyjamas etc.
What's your story, morning glory?
- What's your tale, nightingale?
What's on the agenda, Brenda? etc, etc.
These 'what' greetings, in common with 'how do you do?', have an interrogative form. In phrasing a greeting as a question the person being addressed is invited to began a conversation. In the USA, the 'question' is rheotorical - they don't really expect you to tell them what is ticking etc. The British have tended to stick to direct 'how do you do?', 'nice weather isn't it?' type greetings, which invite a literal reply.
- Over time, even in Britain, the question mark has become less appropriate as 'how do you do' has drifted into being a simple shorthand for 'hello'. In the 1970s I worked for a time with an American record producer from Queens, New York. His daily 'what's new?' greeting always had me searching for a list of new things, to reply to what I took to be a question - which wasn't what he intended at all, of course.