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Re: The future of the English second person plural (was Re; Aquestion)

From:Matt Pearson <mpearson@...>
Date:Monday, August 16, 1999, 15:59
Steg Belsky wrote:

> As far as i can tell, "yous" is dying out and being replaced by "you > guys" and "you all" around here. Notice that it's specifically "you all" > and not "y'all", due to the fear of being thought of as a 'hick'. I > usually say "you guys", although because it sounds non-formal, it causes > some problems. I remember talking to two teachers at once last year and > automatically stopping myself from saying "you guys" because the word > "guys" sounded disrespectful - i think i substituted "you" with an > inclusive hand gesture, or maybe "you two".
The situation in my idiolect (which I think reflects the general usage in Southern California) is to use "you" for the plural in formal situations, and "you" or "y'guys" or "you guys" for the plural in informal situations. I only use "you all" as an alternative to "all of you", and I NEVER use "y'all". My impression is that, on the West Coast at least, "y'all" is confined to rural areas. Matt.