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Let's do lunch

A transcript of a conversation witnessed on TV

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MV: And welcome back to Beijing. All right, guys, I have a question for you.AC: Hm.MV: Have you eaten lunch today?AC: No.ML: Yes.MV: I don't really want to know. That is the Chinese way of saying, `What's up?' Hey.AC: Oh.MV: That's--the translation is "Have you eaten lunch?" It comes from a time when people really didn't have very much food and you really wanted to know whether somebody you knew had eaten, and if they hadn't, you would help them out. It's called being polite.ML: So if you go into the menu and the things you had, that's just going to bore somebody?MV: Yes, you don't--I mean, no, you wouldn't want to do that.AC: I heard that it was more like, have you eaten rice today? Have you eaten rice today? Because rice...MV: Who's heading up this segment?AC: No, you're....MV: I'm heading it up. It says here "Have you eaten lunch today?"AC: Sorry.ML: I think hers sounds more logical.MV: OK.AC: I think it's rice today.ML: I think Ann sounds right on this.MV: Well, she's wrong.AC: I could be wrong.MV: I am heading up the polite quiz today.ML: OK.AC: Hey, all right. I was being impolite asking that question.MV: All right. No, no, no. We need to know this. So you ready to take the quiz?AC: Hm. Hm. Hm.ML: Yes.

Source: NBC, August 8th. A conversation between Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera and Ann Curry on the Today Show.

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