So I’ve been in Guatemala for a couple weeks, where a lot of Spanish (plus 32 other languages) is spoken, and it’s been fun because I get to figure out a lot of idiomatic contextual stuff about Spanish that you don’t get in a classroom. Which is kind of like when I moved to Montreal and started…
Actually, it’s really weird that in English, we are so strict about the before noon/after noon distinction for good morning and good afternoon. I’ve often known people correct themselves because it’s a few minutes after 12 and they hadn’t realised. There’s really no need for accuracy here.
I think it may be because English “afternoon” is easily decomposed “after noon” and we all know that noon is 12 on the dot. And therefore morning gets defined in contrast to that. Whereas French for example does have “après-midi” to refer to that time of day, but there’s no greeting expression “bon après-midi” so the categories can be a bit fuzzier.
I like the college student standard of “it’s morning until noon or an hour after you wake up, whichever comes later.”
Also there are, of course, the people who say “good morning!” once it’s even a few seconds after midnight. Uncooperative pedants :P