RE: Redneck step of the day...

Subject: RE: Redneck step of the day...
From: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>
To: "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>, <Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 08:23:40 -0600

Interesting question, Madelyn. I immediately thought of "thee" and
"thou," once differentiating the informal and formal "you", but that
doesn't help on the plural side. As it happens, someone else has been
pondering, too:
http://linguistlessons.blogspot.com/2008/08/2nd-person-plural.html. I
turned to Wikipedia, too, and the author of that article maintains that
"ye" is the archaic second person plural,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_person. Interestingly, it also
references "yinz" as second person plural in some regional dialects. I
don't think that's come up in our discussion yet.

Jim



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 6:04 PM
To: Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Redneck step of the day...

I can think of using it when speaking to one person when there are
implied others, such as, to a friend, "Are y'all coming to my party,"
where "y'all" refers to the person and any others who might be likely to
accompany him/her, such as family or a social circle.

However, in my version of the South (Louisiana), we are also capable of
using "you" to speak to an individual. In fact, if one says "Are y'all
coming to my party," when you MEANT, "Are YOU (and only you) coming to
my party," you might get an influx of people who were NOT invited. No
Southerner would make THAT mistake. There are social implications there!
(I sometimes think this may be why we use "y'all." Social niceties
demand that one be specific. If, in the south, one asks, "Are you coming
to the party," when one means, "Are y'all coming to the party," it might
create hurt feelings -- "She only invited ME," -- which typically leads
to drama, which leads to intergenerational clan warfare.)

However, I've also never heard the inanimate object usage. Certainly, a
bunch of dogs or chickens may be "y'all" ("Are y'all hungry?" which is a
stupid question to ask dogs or chickens for various reasons), but while
I can *imagine* using it to address, say, a copse of trees ("I'm fixin
ta chop y'all down!"), it's still deliberate, probably comedic,
anthropomorphism.

I've also only heard "all y'all" in conjunction with a 4-letter word,
usually uttered right before the speaker slinks out of the room in a
foul mood. For some reason, I associate this construction with modern
hip-hop culture only.

MY question is, why did English not develop a word so obviously needed
that every region has its version or the word, and they are all
considered improper?

Sincerely,
Madelyn Boudreaux
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Redneck step of the day...: From: Janice Gelb
RE: Redneck step of the day...: From: Brian.Henderson
RE: Redneck step of the day...: From: Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)

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