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Y'all (was: Old Norse (was Re: New to the list))

From:nicole perrin <nicole.eap@...>
Date:Saturday, June 17, 2000, 17:37
Thomas R. Wier wrote:
> > Oskar Gudlaugsson wrote: > > > As regards English, the > > honorific pronoun has overtaken the normal 'thou' (I know you know that). I > > see this as the single most annoying, confusing, and intolerable part of the > > language: failure to make a singular-plural distinction in the second person > > pronouns. "You guys" can't always cover the plural, as it's very colloquial > > and often inappropriate. I've often heard English speakers say something > > like "you, and with you I mean all of you, as a nation, not you > > personally..." to me. > > That's really only true, though, for Standard English. Nearly 100 million Southerners > in the US -- somewhere between a fifth and a fourth of all native English speakers > anywhere -- use "y'all", and "youse" is supposed to be used in various (mostly basilectal) > varieties in the Northern US and in the UK. "y'all" has no class connotations
<snip> "Y'all" may not have any class connotations within the geographic areas in which it's used, but outside those areas, it definitely has negative connotations, class or otherwise. Northerners (at least, Northeasterners) tend to view it as quite hickish and uneducated, even though it's a word used by the president and plenty of other media figures (Katie Couric, famous New York news anchor, to name one). Nicole