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USAGE: Y'all [was Re: varia]

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Friday, February 11, 2005, 16:31
Just to chime in here - I was born in Massachussetts but raised from age
2 in Georgia by parents who were born in Virginia but raised in the
Midwest.  So it would not be surprising if my 'lect were a bit more
muddled than most.  I don't have much of a Southern accent at all, and
despite living here all my life I still have to exercise my will to
overcome my gut reaction of "Southern accent = stupid".  But I do use
"y'all", as the normal, unmarked plural of "you", in all but the most
formal situations.  And it is thoroughly grammaticalized, showing up in
phrases like "all of y'all" or "some of  y'all".

I virtually never use "you" alone as a plural.  If I don't say "y'all" for
whatever reason, I'll say "you folks", or "you guys", or some such
phrase.  "You all" in uncontracted form is pretty rare; I pretty much
only say that when I start to say "you" (singular) and then
mid-utterance correct myself to address more than one person.



Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>