Do people greet other people in this kind of order?

GeogeHalin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello members!

I need to give a speech at a high school as a former student, and I'm wondering whether people do it in English at the beginning of the speech, Do you say:
1) Good morning (to), Principal, teachers and students.
2) Good mooring (to), Principal, every teacher and student.

I said that to show my respect to the principal and the teachers.
First, would you say the 'to'?
And would you say every teacher/student or count them as plural?
Do you actually greet people this way or do you just say "Good morning everyone!"? I think if I were giving a speech as a guest instead of a former student, then I'd have to use this instead of 1) and 2).

I think we say 1. without the to. in the context.

Please comment and explain.

Thanks!
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    No 'to'. It is a polite way of starting and shows a degree of respect. Your first version is fine, but I'd change the order of the sentence if it was my speech: "Principal, teachers and students, good morning. It gives me great pleasure to ....."
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It all depends on what degree of formality GeogeHalin wants and the nature of the event. The OP makes it clear that he wants to show respect, and my answer was based on the context he provided. When I have spoken at meetings of learned societies, I have started "Mr President, ....", at the Staff College "Commandant, ..." at less formal professional meetings "Good morning, everybody....". I doubt I'll be asked back to my old school for Speech Day, but if the unexpected happened, I would certainly start "Headmaster ....". I wouldn't dream of starting "Good morning, everyone." It would be appallingly rude to do so.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Using "Principal" by itself as a direct address sounds strange to me ("Good morning, Principal.") In an opening to a formal speech, I would expect to hear something like, "Good morning Principal Skinner, teachers, parents, students, and friends."
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with Geoge and Andy. I'm not sure I'd go as far as describing "good morning everyone" as "appallingly rude", but I definitely agree that courtesy calls for the principal to be singled out, and I would use his or her surname: "Principal _____, faculty, students—good morning. . . . "
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Using "Principal" by itself as a direct address sounds strange to me ("Good morning, Principal.") In an opening to a formal speech, I would expect to hear something like, "Good morning Principal Skinner, teachers, parents, students, and friends."
    Yes, there's a significant difference between AE and BE in that we normally use the title of the office held without a name. I don't think we use Principal much, it's usually Headmaster of Headmistress (there's bound to be a school somewher that does). It would seem unremarkable to me to say "Principal, teachers, .....".

    As for the rudeness, it's the context - a formal event and a visiting speaker. For me as a visiting speaker it is a basic and essential courtesy to acknowledge my host and his or her primacy in the organisation I am addressing. That is the way I have conducted myself throughout my careers (military and civilian) and it is what I have seen done by my colleagues.
     
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