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Q: "You OK?" ( No Answer,   11 Comments )
Subject: "You OK?"
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Television
Asked by: nautico-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 16 Oct 2006 14:50 PDT
Expires: 17 Oct 2006 16:19 PDT
Question ID: 774155
I am now convinced that the most common line of dialogue in today's
"Law & Order" and other police dramas is "you OK?"

A woman lies in the street, having just been run over by an
18-wheeler, blood gushing from a femoral artery. Her companion: "You

A cop's wife and seven children have just been murdered by a
machete-wielding monster, and he's gazing glassy-eyed at the ADA
prepping him for the trial. The prosecutor: "You OK?"

I've found myself counting the "you OKs"! Whence cometh this emphasis
on expressions of touchy-feely empathy? "Are you OK" now rivals in
frequency the inevitable "wadda we got here?" from one of the
detectives approaching a crime scene.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: pinkfreud-ga on 16 Oct 2006 14:55 PDT
My husband and I were talking about this very thing last night as we
were watching an episode of "Dexter." In one scene, the cops rush to
the side of a woman who is lying in a pool of blood on the floor. The
first thing one of the officers says to the woman is "You OK?" Sheesh.
Talk about yer stupid questions. She's bleeding to death, guy.
Whatever the opposite of "OK" is, she's it.
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: myoarin-ga on 16 Oct 2006 15:59 PDT
Hey, this is very serious.  
In the handbook in basic English for monosyllabic cops, it advises to
use just this expression when addressing injured persons:
The cops can remember it;
It avoids their saying emotionally frought things like:  "My God!
You're bleeding to death!" or "Jeez, I bet that hurts";
It encourages a positive response.

The handbook teaches them to note the person's reaction:
Can s/he focus his eyes on the cop?  (He's conscious)
Does he answer?    (He isn't in total shock)
Does he spit blood?  (frothy: lung injury)
What does he answer?  ("Yes:  either it's true or he is beyond help)

and so on. 
I'm sure Tutuzdad and Crabcakes can confirm this.
In the UK, Scotland Yard probably prefers a more formal approach:
"Are you all right, sir/ma'am?" which avoids possible additional
anguish should the victim be accustomed to being addressed in this
Answerfinder, please advise.
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: tutuzdad-ga on 16 Oct 2006 16:04 PDT
Indeed, as myoarin surmised the almost universal first step in first
responder training (especially with regard to CPR) is to approach the
victim and shout, "Are you ok?"

You won't know if you don't ask.
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: nautico-ga on 16 Oct 2006 16:26 PDT
So, the first responder's feelings wouldn't be bruised if the object
of his concern replied "No, you twit! I am NOT OK!?
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: myoarin-ga on 16 Oct 2006 16:33 PDT
I'll be doggone!
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: tutuzdad-ga on 16 Oct 2006 17:16 PDT
Having been a first responder for many years I can attest tot he fact
that such a statement almost certainly brings relief rather than
bruised feelings. Let me tell you a funny story....

I had a friend who was a doctor in an busy hospital trauma
center/emergency room. One night the paramedics brough in this frail
little old man on a gurney. The poor fellow, who was surely over 100
years old, was in a fetal position and appeared unresponsive.
Convinced that a man of his age and in his condition (whatever it
might be) would almost certainly have hearing difficulties the doctor
bent down over the soundly sleeping patient and yelled, "Are you
ok?!!". To this the startled old gentleman sprang upright with his
eyes wide open and screamed back, "Good grief, man....I'm not DEAF!!!"

In spite of how they both came to the realization, in the end I think
they were both equally relieved that no one was dying.

Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: qed100-ga on 16 Oct 2006 18:36 PDT
Reminds me of that episode of I Love Lucy in which Ricky falls out of
a fishing boat, and Ethel blurts out "ARE YOU WET?"

   But my favorite used to be old westerns & cop shows in which some
party would meet an unfortunate end, whereupon someone else would make
a cursory (two seconds) examination and declare, with all the
reverence of noting a piece of road-kill, "He's dead."
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: probonopublico-ga on 16 Oct 2006 21:34 PDT
I was in a Hospital Waiting Room on one occasion when a newcomer
arrived and spotted a couple he knew and asked 'Are you keeping

They both immediately responded with a 'Yes Thanks ...'

Later, the woman corrected herself by saying that actually her husband
was 'not very well' - which is why they were visiting the hospital.

I guess that we are all programmed to give automated responses.

The one that frustrates me, here in the UK, is when someone says 'See
you soon' instead of 'Goodbye'.

I can't tell you how many attractive women I have asked 'Where? When?'
- only to discover that they were in automaton mode.

Perpetually Disappointed of Hove
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: answerfinder-ga on 17 Oct 2006 00:47 PDT
I was not present at this but my informant is very reliable. 

Back in the 70s a team of ?blaggers? (armed robbers in police slang)
were arrested going across the pavement (in the act of committing the
robbery). During the ensuing struggle one robber was hit across the
head with a baseball bat knocking him out. He soon recovered
consciousness and was taken to hospital under police guard.

At the hospital he was examined by the doctor who asked him ?Do you fill sick??

?Do I feel ******* sick!!! Of course I feel ******* sick!!! I?ve just
been ****** nicked you idiot!
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: frde-ga on 17 Oct 2006 04:46 PDT
I think it is called a 'Ping' 
- and the concept far predates the internet

It actually translates into : 'Communicate! So I can assess the situation'
Subject: Re: "You OK?"
From: qed100-ga on 17 Oct 2006 06:15 PDT
There's also the anecdote told by David Brenner once on the Tonight
Show. He related that he was on a non-stop flight from New York to Los
Angeles. Upon reaching cruising altitude the Captain did a "hello"
tour of the passenger cabin. The pilot, upon arriving at Brenner's
seat, recognized the celebrity and exclaimed "David Brenner! Hey,
where are you headed?"

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