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Ohayō vs Ohayō gozaimasu in this context

Leizar

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Hi, this is just a trivial question and is more to satisfy my curiosity.

I’m part of a small friend-gaming community and we share a group chat, most of the members are between 25 and 30 years old and today the youngest member (15 years old) greeted us in the morning with just “Ohayō” this unchained and internal debate about if he should said instead “Ohayō gozaimasu” because we are older than him or just “Ohayō” because we are gaming pals.

What do you think?
 

Mike Cash

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How are you guys on the correct use of keigo for the rest of your discussions in Japanese?

You could argue either position equally effectively and there is no real "correct" answer.
 

Majestic

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Yes - I agree. This is a tough question. If it is just a casual group of non-Japanese friends chatting about games, why inject a hierarchy into this which will forever make the youngest person feel like he/she has to defer to the sensibilities of the senior members? Plus it has the reverse effect of entitling the senior members to feel offended if the youngest person hasn't used the most appropriate and deferential language.

On the other hand, if the hierarchy already exists and the group wishes for a formality expressed in language, you could well argue that dropping the gozaimasu injects an unwelcome familiarity into the conversation.

If you are a group of friends, though, and wish to remain casual and friendly, you should overlook such trivialities. Otherwise you are forever arguing that so-and-so used "kimi" when he should have instead used "anata", etc...

The answer is therefore: are you a group of people that values the hierarchy more than the friendship? If so, the omission of gozaimasu would ruffle feathers. If you are a group of friends; friends don't always demand formality from other friends, and so it may go unnoticed.
 

Mike Cash

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I am reminded of a story that happened when I was in the Navy. The base was having an orientation meeting for the Navy spouses (in those days, that meant "wives") and it was being conducted by an old Master Chief.

He instructed the ladies to seat themselves according to rank, then watched as they all busied themselves with "My husband is a Lieutenant"...."Well my husband is a Lieutenant-Commander"..."Your husband is a Seaman, you go to the back", etc etc as they attempted to arrange themselves.

Then the Master Chief yelled at the room, "None of you have any rank! Your husbands have rank! SIT DOWN!"

A bunch of gaijins getting their panties in a wad over the fine details of polite language usage in a language they probably don't speak all that well anyway and in which they probably couldn't get the keigo right in real life themselves if their lives depended on it is equally as comical.
 

madphysicist

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@Mike Cash
My sister, world-class athlete, still gets asked "yes, but what does your boyfriend do?" (answer: nothing half as interesting).

@Leizar
If you're all reasonably good friends and the interaction is casual I'd go with an "ohayou". But hierarchical language depends on multiple variables and probably isn't as set-in-stone as you're imagining. There's a lot of leeway in the situation you describe.
 

Mike Cash

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My sister, world-class athlete, still gets asked "yes, but what does your boyfriend do?" (answer: nothing half as interesting).
There will never in the world be a question that for pure comedic value tops, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show?"
 
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