I know plenty of variations myself, it's just that when I help friends' children with their English homework this seems to be the first phrase that pops up every time in books!You'll find many variations on the standard Q&A if you check out the links I posted earlier
I fear abuse from trendy native speakers, not from learners of English. The former love to use 'I feel good' while the latter know about English grammar.
Typical dialogue in the office on Monday morning:
-Jaaaaaaaaaaane! How are you today?
-Good, good, thanks.
I'd like, if I may, to quote the epitaph that Spike Milligan had engraved on his tombstone:Some English people reply "fine thanks" in all situations and no matter how awful they feel and sickly they look. Even on their deathbed. "Mustn't grumble. Could be dead already, you know."
Well, now you know (sort of) two people who respond this way, James. I've used "well" since I was a teenager and you wouldn't believe the number of people who've told me that it sounds much "nicer" than "good" or "fine". That's probably because, despite habit, native-speakers have an innate sense that "good" and "fine" aren't quite right although if you asked, most wouldn't know why.I have a friend who always answers "I am well, thank you" when I ask how he is. I mention it because he is the only person of the hundreds of people I know who says this. It is correct, however, rather than "good".
Hmmm... looks like we end up with no-one to blame thenI am a native speaker of American English, and I always say "Fine, thank you." I really don't know why "Good" should be thought an Americanism -- I always think of it as a British thing to say in response to this question!
Belatedly, perhaps, I feel bound to point out that "fine" is an adjective, just like "good".'How are you?' refers to the idea of 'how are you feeling today?' The answer would be an adverb ( = I am feeling well or fine).