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English is my second language and the phrase hey there, early bird! doesn't feel alright (I think that it is wrong).

The text below is just for context.

Hey there, early bird!

examplewebsite.com is fully operational. We are a new website that is in the process of creating high-quality articles to populate these pages. Because of that fact (that we focus on high-quality articles) it might take some time before this page is fully populated. You can enjoy the articles that are already published.

Thank you for being here with us at this early stage of our existence.

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    As a greeting to the first people to access your website, I don't see anything wrong with it. Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 10:36
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    It sounds fine to this US English speaker too. Proofreading is off-topic here, but can you tell us what you think might be specifically wrong with Hey there, early bird?
    – stangdon
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 13:01
  • Thank you for your comments. I've never used the sentence "Hey there, early bird" in my life, not even once. Since it's okay, I will use it. Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 13:11
  • It doesn't feel right....
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 19:33

1 Answer 1

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From the comments, you can see that at very least you're not making any major errors with the phrase. But I think you are right to be suspicious of it, primarily because it is using an idiom to mean something different from the normal use.

The actual idiom is "the early bird catches the worm", but a key aspect is that the later bird does not catch the worm.

Your meaning seems to be more closely captured by "early adopter"; i.e. those who are early do get an advantage, but it's nothing more than that very earliness of access. Those who come later still get stuff too. Although even here, it's not a perfect fit since it connotes early adoption of a product or service, not simply being among the first to read material on a new website.

Overall, you won't be sued or put in jail for using your phrase, and as you can see from the comments, at least two native speakers are OK with it. But I'd be willing to bet that even though they're not faulting it, they as native speakers would not have chosen to use that phrase themselves. :-) If it were me, I wouldn't use it. Or, if it grew on me so that I decided to go for it, I'd perhaps add some support for it – e.g. a graphic of a happy little bird pulling an article (instead of a worm) out of the ground.

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