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Very good

Posted by R. Berg on October 27, 2006

In Reply to: Very good posted by Bob on October 27, 2006

: : : : In business communication someone will frequently close a conversation with "very good". What is the origin of this phrase and when should it be used?

: : : The origin is simply the meaning of the two words. The speaker is expressing approval of the decisions or agreements that were reached in the conversation up to that point. If someone you talk with in business says "Very good" instead of "Goodbye" or "Nice to meet you," that must be either an eccentricity or a part of a new etiquette I don't understand. ~rb

: : Butlers on TV shows usually say something like "very good, sir" before they withdraw to go and make the tea or whatever. Then there's the relatively new AOL (America On-Line) commercial where the loser guy from Computer Doc's says "very good" as he briskly withdraws into his loser world after he can't convince AOL to downgrade their product. I think it beats "Do it", and personally I try to say "Great".

: Addressing the question of when it should be used. If "satisfactory" is a 1, and 'ecstatcially fabulous' is a 10, then "very good" should only be used to describe something between 5.7 and 7.3.

Speaking of etiquette, the butler doesn't make the tea. The butler instructs the head cook to instruct the assistant cook to instruct the third-tier kitchen helper to make the tea. At least that's how it goes in my household. Well, no, of course I mean that's how it went in the household of some ancestor of mine, if you go back far enough. Probably. Or maybe I'm thinking of someone else's remote ancestor. Yeah, that's it. Very good! ~rb