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Subject:Re: "Y'all" From:Charles Sides <csides -at- FSCVAX -dot- FSC -dot- MASS -dot- EDU> Date:Mon, 24 Oct 1994 10:30:57 EST
At the risk of contributing to a thread similar to last year's barbecue (I
got flamed for adding to that one, too), I couldn't resist adding my two
cents' worth to this, having grown up in the land of y'all, a word I no
"Y'all is probably the perfect PC pronoun: it is sexless and numberless
(none of those s/he problems).
Examples: "Mary-Jo, why don't y'all join us this evening at the Pig
"Bobby, why don't y'all join us this evening at the Pig Pit
"Mary-Jo and Bobby, why don't y'all join us this evening at
the Pig Pit Barbecue?"
Of course, depending on who is doing the intoning and how it is intoned,
"y'all" still has connotations of rednecks and southern belles. Also,
grammarians will have difficulty with the logic of contracting "you"
and "all" for both singular and plural uses, but in the idiom of back-
woods Carolina, it's used that way (or was). "Y'all" also has just
enough nose-thumbing at proper English authority to appeal to the
rebellious spirit among some of its users; always has.
Finally, southern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are (dialectically)
southern. A lot of Union supporters crossed the river during the
1860s and took their speech with them.