Re: You/thou

Subject: Re: You/thou
From: Tracy Boyington <trlyboyi -at- GENESIS -dot- ODVTE -dot- STATE -dot- OK -dot- US>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 14:36:49 +0000

David Ibbetson wrote:
> I'm not going to say touche<accent required>. If she objects to "thou" as
> the singular of "you" she will, I suspect, accept that modern English
> doesn't lack a plural for "you". "You" like "sheep" has the same form in the
> singular and plural. The change didn't happen overnight.

David's right; I should have said no distinct plural. Actually, I
think it would be kind of fun if "thou" came back -- especially if it
happened overnight. Think of the business opportunities as people
scramble to convert old publications to the new style!

> References to "you all" suggest that some communities feel the lack of a
> distinct plural form. Whether this will catch on generally, only time will

If and when a distinct plural form of "you" is accepted, it won't be
"you all." Not as long as Southern = stupid to so many people. It will
probably be something that originated in California. Maybe "dudes" or
"buds," or even "weenies."


Tracy Boyington
Technical Communication Specialist
Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma

I never express opinions, but if one slips out, it belongs
to me and not ODVTE.

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