Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 15:39:39 -0500
From: Bill Cole - 919-248-6118 cole[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]DG-RTP.DG.COM
Subject: Re: 2 pl
You guys (informal, gender unspecific) is well-established here in southern
lower Michigan. It is, I suspect, not related to any Southern substratum,
however, since the primary users are young, female, lower to upper middle
class, majority group with no southern backgrounds (as in some
European-American groups in Michigan).
No native Southerner would use "you guys" unless his/her parents were
Edgar's suspicion that a server in a restaurant might refer to patrons this
way is correct, but it would be very much dependent on the poshness of the
place (where it would be out of line in any place with any pretension
whatsoever). Moreover, I think there would have to be some social solidarity
among speakers (even server - patrons) before it would be used. A young server
(even in a casual place) would not use you guys on older patrons.
I also do not know the limits of southern Michigan all set, particularly
useful in service encounters. After you have read a menu, a server will ask
all set (are you ready to order). After your food comes, he or she will again
enquire all set (do you have what you want), after you have stuffed yourself,
another all set means can the plates be taken away now; a later all set means,
of course, should I bring the bill. It is easy to see how this was extended
from the older all set (the one I use), which means something like is a
groupnow ready to engage in some sort of activity or take some sort of action,
but I found it odd (and hard to explain the oddness of to local users, who, of
course, could not imagine that one would say anything else in the
This all set, by the way, is not casual (like you guys). I have heard it in
the poshest places (when I have been taken there, rarely, of course, and never
more than once so my testimony on this aspect may be questionable. Those who
know Lansing will, on the other hand, know that posh restaurant is
Anybody else out there struck by this all set?
Yes, "all set" seems to be all purpose. Sort of a social convention. But it
seems to peculiar to restaurants. Maybe I don't get out enough.
/Bill Cole : To do right, love justice and walk humbly.
Data General Corp.
Enterprise Application Customer Support Center
The opinions are my own, thank you.