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Old 09-12-2009, 06:14 PM
Location: Greenville, Delaware
4,726 posts, read 10,317,043 times
Reputation: 2595


Yes, the lack of a second person plural in English is what gives rise to all these slang/idiomatic usages, and I don't claim that "you guys" is inherently better than "y'all". In formal speech I try to use "you" as a plural without any modifier. It's noteworthy that even in England, however, "you all" with a definite separation between the two words is used to pluralise "you"; in fact HLM George V, who made the first Christmas radio broadcast to the UK and the Commonwealth, starts by saying "I am speaking to you all..."

I just have never liked the way "y'all" sounds coming from my own lips -- just not a part of who I am. My parents actually didn't seem to use it and I developed some of my linguistic habits living in northern Virginia and DC between the ages of 7 and 13. I didn't start saying "you guys" until well into my adulthood and indeed while I was still living in TX. It's not so much an affectation as a practiced and internalised form of speech. I'd just say "you" if it didn't sound so damn strange.
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