The Atlantic’s Food section on In Italy, Food Gets Graded: “The day my daughter’s kindergarten teacher called me into her Italian classroom to tell me my child was failing lunch, I knew I had run up against the great continental culinary divide. As an American married to an Italian, I’ve lived off and on in Italy for years, in both Bologna and Venice. I’m an adventurous and enthusiastic cook, an impassioned eater, and one of those parents who throw their kids into the deep end of the culinary pool from birth. Sink or swim: eat your fava beans and grilled calamari or starve.”
Cardus on the linguist orgins of Hello, You Had Me At Hello : “The history of hello is long and mired in many vowels. Though it didn’t show up in its current form till the mid-19th century, its forbears are many and obvious: hallo, halloo, hillo, holla (a Shakespearean favourite recently returned to slang prominence), hollo, holloa–all generally being a combination get-attention-and-greet, useful for hailing passing boats and that sort of thing.
Drifting beyond the bounds of English, hello’s roots diverge: is it from the Old High German ferry-call halâ, an emphatic imperative of “to fetch,” from the antiquated French stop-shout holà, roughly “whoa there!” or maybe, as Wikipedia tenderly suggests, from the Old English hœlan (heal, cure, save; greet, salute; gehœl! Hosanna!)?”