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Old 09-01-2010, 09:19 AM
 
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I'm from Massachusetts and use the term "You guys", "Sir" and "Ma-am"
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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I am from NC and use the term "you guys" for men and women. It has become a generic term, although I am careful when speaking to people who might think it is a racist term.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:29 PM
 
7,104 posts, read 9,697,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheelhombre View Post
I am from NC and use the term "you guys" for men and women. It has become a generic term, although I am careful when speaking to people who might think it is a racist term.
Huh? Did you mean speaking to a group of black guys who thought you were calling them white "guys"?
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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I've always considered "you guys" to be used by, though not limited to, the bubbleheads, the generally unaware and self absorbed, people without strong roots, and worshipers of the jiffypop. This doesn't apply to all users of this slang, but I tend to avoid the term myself.

Please note: If you read this and don't consider yourself one of the above, then I am not talking about you.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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I'm from Texas and was taught to say "Sir" and "Ma'am" - I've used it even when the person is obviously younger so I don't think it's an age thing - it's a respect thing.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:41 PM
 
3,115 posts, read 6,127,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumbollo View Post
I've always considered "you guys" to be used by, though not limited to, the bubbleheads, the generally unaware and self absorbed, people without strong roots, and worshipers of the jiffypop. This doesn't apply to all users of this slang, but I tend to avoid the term myself.

Please note: If you read this and don't consider yourself one of the above, then I am not talking about you.
So what you're saying is it's your favorite phrase?
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,389 posts, read 19,348,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagocubs View Post
I've learned to accept it and embrace it. Did catch me by surprise at first. However, my mother would be deeply insulted when my kids said "yes ma'am" and would go into a long tirade as to why that was not appropriate.
I think you'll never be happy in the South if simple courtesy comes across to you as offensive. Good Lord, I have truly seen it all... Shall I take up a collection for a one-way ticket back to Chicago for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graciebaby
I don't think there's anything wrong with Ma'am but by the same token I'm not sure why people in this thread are outraged by others who don't like it. I prefer people to call me by my first name (if we're going to have more than a one sentence conversation) and there's nothing wrong with that. If someone calls me Ma'am or Ms., I'll say "You can call me Graciebaby" with a nice smile. I certainly think that's a kind and respectful way to address the situation and doesn't deserve any eyerolls by people who would prefer to be addressed differently.
You are in the minority if you prefer to be called by your first name by strangers. With family and friends, of course, but strangers? Even so, you state that you tell them you want to be called "Graciebaby"; that's perfectly fine; any time someone prefers one kind of address and says so, no etiquette rule in the world is being broken. However, if someone you didn't know called you by your first name in, say, a business transaction, are you certain it would never offend you? What if that person were 25 years younger than you? Age is a major factor in this bit of etiquette. It know it irks me (age 46) to be called "Hello, Francois" by the 20something workers at my gym when I swipe my card and they see my name, but if they were my age or older, I probably wouldn't mind as much. So the question of being offended hinges a bit on the age of the person calling someone by their first name.

Actually, when people talk about "not wanting to be addressed by their first name", a lot of the time they are talking about by children. Southern children are taught to address your parents' friends as "Mr. and Mrs. X" while, apparently, in the North and on the West Coast, many children call their parents by their first names, even from the age of 3-4. If the adult requests it, then it's great, but just to be addressed by a child you barely know (let's say you're visiting your college roommate, whom you haven't seen in 15 years, and they have young children) by your first name is considered rude by most Southerners (and many elsewhere). Even if "Mrs Lastname" seems stilted, I know a lot of folks whose children say "Mr. Firstname", which distinguishes you from a playmate on first-name basis but also is more familiar than calling an adult who's a close family friend "Mr. Lastname".

In any rate, it's the person's call how they want to be addressed, especially by children they don't know well. If you tell them to call you Graciebaby, then of course that is what they should call you, but if they weren't invited to do so, respect for elders would dictate calling you "Ms. Lastname" or "Ma'am" until requested otherwise.

Quote:
As a born and raised Midwesterner, I say "you guys". It's not meant to be sexist or a slight to any female members of the group. It's simply a variation of y'all. No one gets up in arms about saying "y'all", right? How about "you'uns" or "yous"?
I am male and do understand that 'you guys' is gender-neutral, but since "guy" in the singular is unquestionably male, it's not my place to tell women they shouldn't be offended when called "you guys". Of course, that's another reason to use "y'all" since we're in the South (and this is an NC board). Up North, I would avoid it and probably say "you guys" or actually probably "you folks" which is unquestionably gender-neutral (note that "you people" is generally considered offensive, somehow). I worked with the public for many years and when addressing a clearly Northern group, I probably said "you guys" if I didn't want to be teased/judged for saying "y'all", and so I do agree that it was meant as "you, the group", but if it were, let's say, a group of all women, I have t think how I would have addressed them--probably just "you" meaning plural?

It sucks that English doesn't have a clearly-defined second person plural. Of course, Southern English does!

Last edited by Francois; 09-01-2010 at 10:22 PM..
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:57 AM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,690,600 times
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You see it allot here because its an old negro term started in the days of slavery. They would have to say "YES MASSER" and YES mam" and now everyone says it....I like it
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:57 PM
 
16,092 posts, read 36,505,816 times
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Wrong ..
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,294,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
I'm from Texas and was taught to say "Sir" and "Ma'am" - I've used it even when the person is obviously younger so I don't think it's an age thing - it's a respect thing.
You are right of course

And I DO love the Texas drawl of a cowboy saying "Ma'm"!!
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