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View Poll Results: How do you address a group of people?
Native Texan (large city) -- y'all 31 34.07%
Native Texan (large city) -- you guys 2 2.20%
Native Texan (other) -- y'all 18 19.78%
Native Texan (other) -- you guys 0 0%
Non-native Texan (large city) -- y'all 12 13.19%
Non-native Texan (large city) -- you guys 4 4.40%
Non-native Texan (other) -- y'all 11 12.09%
Non-native Texan (other) -- you guys 13 14.29%
Voters: 91. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-30-2008, 10:06 AM
Status: "Summer vacation;out of town a lot and not on line much!" (set 11 days ago)
 
9,715 posts, read 10,437,997 times
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Default Y'all or You guys?

Ok y'all (which oughta tip off my answer), here is my poll of the week. That is, what is the term you use to refer to/address a group of more than one person? Y'all or you guys?

On the surface, this might appear a silly question, since "y'all" (or you-all) is practically a linguistic icon of Texas! LOL

However, over the past several decades there has been a large influx of northern migration into the state -- particularly in the big cities -- and I have noticed that even some natives in those areas have been influenced to some degree in their speech patterns. For instance, I have a niece and she and her husband (he is a football coach) have lived for years in the DFW area and now reside around Austin. I noticed that, at last years Christmas gathering of the family, she used "you guys" several times. I asked her about it (because it sure wasn't what she grew up saying), and her reply was along the lines of, well, I guess there are just so many people from out of state where we have lived, that I just picked it up too!

Anyway, I am curious as to what the result of a poll on this topic among forum folks will indicate. I am going to TRY (I say try because I invariably leave out something relevant when I do polls! LOL) to make this one give an accurate gauge of the topic. At least to those of us on here (which includes both natives and transplanted Texans)

I am really curious to see if is squares somewhat with the figure on a linguistic survey poll conducted several years back (I think by some folks at Harvard University) which gave the following as to where the use of "y'all" was most prevelant:

More than half using “y’all”: 1. Mississippi – 85.47% 2. Louisiana – 79.30% 3. Texas – 73.09% 4. Alabama – 72.81% 5. South Carolina – 71.83% 6. Georgia – 71.15% 7. Arkansas – 69.17% 8. North Carolina – 66.13% 9. Tennessee – 62.15%

Less than half using “y’all”: 1. Oklahoma – 46.35% 2. Virginia – 44.03% 3. Florida – 41.49% 4. Kentucky – 39.00% 5. West Virginia – 28.35% 6. Delaware – 20.93% 7. Maryland – 20.52% 8. Missouri – 13.44%

And, as a sort of “control group”, four "non-Southern states": 1. California – 6.8% 2. Illinois – 6.05% 3. Colorado – 6.78% 4. Pennsylvania – 4.08%

Anyway, y'all (by gawd!) take the survey and share any thoughts/opinions/observations you have on this earth-shaking matter! (besides the fact I am obviously an eccentric for being facinated by stuff like this! )

One last thing, for the purpose of the poll I am defining "large city" as to be ones like Houston, DFW, San Antonio, and Austin where there has been an obvious and very noteable migration from other areas of the country. "Other" means anything from medium city to rural area. Just use your own good judgement on this one! Thanks....y'all!

Last edited by TexasReb; 08-30-2008 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
10,948 posts, read 7,466,154 times
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Well, I'm from PA. so here is my take on the two!

Y'all... I prefer to use this term with everyone. I have adopted this within the past 5 years or so during my recent trips to Texas. I like the sound of it better.

You guys... I grew up with this term and used it all my life. We Pennsylvanians even use it when addressing girls, not only men! I try not to use this term now.

Now to throw off TexReb's poll a little bit, there is a term used by people who live in Pittsburgh, PA! It is repulsive, but I have used it alot and I still find myself using it. I try to catch myself when I feel it coming out of my mouth! It is....

Youn's... pronounce yoonz!!!
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:03 AM
Status: "Summer vacation;out of town a lot and not on line much!" (set 11 days ago)
 
9,715 posts, read 10,437,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texanwannabe View Post
Now to throw off TexReb's poll a little bit, there is a term used by people who live in Pittsburgh, PA! It is repulsive, but I have used it alot and I still find myself using it. I try to catch myself when I feel it coming out of my mouth! It is....

Youn's... pronounce yoonz!!!
VERY interesting, TWB! (hugs by the way, ain't talked to you in a while!). I have a friend who told me he has kinfolk in, hell, I think it was western Kentucky or West Virginia (but I could be wrong on that) and the term "you uns" was somewhat common in some rural areas. So could that be "Appalachian" usage as opposed to say, vis a vis simple North/South...? That mountain range extends from the "Mountain South" up into Pennsylvania, so I am kinda wondering...?
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Old 08-30-2008, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Camphost in Durand, IL
245 posts, read 412,604 times
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I too have a local version of "you all". Altho many would deny anyone uses it in the Chicago area, I know plenty who do. It's the plural of you......yous.

Yous guys wanna go get some beers or what?
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Old 08-30-2008, 12:33 PM
 
1,816 posts, read 2,371,636 times
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When we were kids living in East Texas, I remember an older couple that went to our church that would always say, you un's come see us or if we went over to their house and then were leaving, they say, you un's come back. My sister and I thought it was the funniest thing we'd ever heard. We all said y'all as did everyone else.

I address 2 or more people as y'all, one person as you and this is when I'm talking. Now, when it comes to writing, I sometimes will put y'all, but for the most part I will just keep it in the singular. I don't mind saying y'all, but when I put it in writing, it seems like I'm trying to be overly southern or something. I don't know quite how to explain it. I'm certainly no southern belle, nor am I a hick from the sticks, yet when I write something with y'all this and y'all that, I think it makes me look like such. Crazy, like I said, hard to explain, but I cannot make myself say you guys or you un's or youse and I heard all three of these expressions.
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Old 08-30-2008, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
10,948 posts, read 7,466,154 times
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Pittsburgh doesn't say you uns...it's more like yunz. It could be an Appalachian term... (BTW--hugs and kisses to you TexReb!).

Now further South of Pittsburgh (about an hour--where the 3rd terrorist plane went down on 9-11) ...that is where I grew up! They say yous! I had to break myself from that habit when I moved to Pittsburgh because everyone looked at me like I was some hick fresh off the farm when I used that term!

I prefer y'all. Now I try to write it as often as I can because I want that speech pattern ingrained in me as much as possible. I don't want to be slipping up when I move to Texas and have yous or yunz or you guys come out. Y'all just sounds nicer and more friendly. Don't y'all agree?
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Seal Beach,CA
455 posts, read 784,227 times
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First, let me say I am not trying to be rude with my answer or opinion. After all this is just my opinion.
I live in the English speaking country of the USA so I do not us the term"Y'all".
I speak proper English like I was taught at home and at school.Most educated people speak proper English. And yes...I am not from the south or the north. I am from California originally.
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:30 PM
Status: "Summer vacation;out of town a lot and not on line much!" (set 11 days ago)
 
9,715 posts, read 10,437,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubashawn68 View Post
First, let me say I am not trying to be rude with my answer or opinion. After all this is just my opinion.
I live in the English speaking country of the USA so I do not us the term"Y'all".
I speak proper English like I was taught at home and at school.Most educated people speak proper English. And yes...I am not from the south or the north. I am from California originally.
And your honest opinion is appreciated and noted. In turn, I have to ask -- NOT being rude nor sarcastic in my own turn -- why is the use of "y'all" considered to be (by some) improper English? It is (lyrically lovely, in fact!) a contraction of "you-all", and a perfect second person plural pronoun.

If one is addressing a group of women, does it make better sense in the proper English or idiomatic sense, to say "you guys"...?

Again, regional terminology is a source of contention sometime, so I am not trying to be flip nor sour either. At the same time though, I confess that I will never quite understand the foundation for the sentiments you express. Quite frankly, and yes, this is just MHO too, I find it very patronizing and condecending, even if such is truly not intended (and I believe you don't mean it that way). Yet it does contain a certain reflexive bias against Texas and the South...the old unfounded cliche' that a certain accent and idiom marks one as backwood and hillbilly. Even if nothing else in the world supports such a presumption...

Last edited by TexasReb; 08-30-2008 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Seattle Area
3,200 posts, read 4,074,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubashawn68 View Post
First, let me say I am not trying to be rude with my answer or opinion. After all this is just my opinion.
I live in the English speaking country of the USA so I do not us the term"Y'all".
I speak proper English like I was taught at home and at school.Most educated people speak proper English. And yes...I am not from the south or the north. I am from California originally.
"Y'all" like "Yunz" is simply regional speech...and has nothing to do with a person's education or intelligence.
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Seal Beach,CA
455 posts, read 784,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlerain View Post
"Y'all" like "Yunz" is simply regional speech...and has nothing to do with a person's education or intelligence.
Sorry, but I do not buy that. As I have educated friends from Texas as well as other parts of the South and the do not use that type of language or "slang".
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