Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 11:23:21 -0500


Subject: You guys

I grew up in a NY suburb evenly divided demographically into long time

residents, people who moved out from NYC, and people who moved in from the

Midwest (or elsewhere) to take jobs in NYC. Because of the different dialects

represented, language variation was a common recess topic of discussion and/or

mockery. Alongside "Which is right, soda or pop?" and "Say chocolate. Eeew, is

THAT how you say it?" we also had disagreements about the status of "You

guys". Some of my female friends (I'd like to say it was the ones who said POP

instead of SODA, but I honestly don't remember.) were grievously offended at

uses of "you guys" addressing an all-female group. Others of us (me included)

were quite comfortable with this generic usage. This was c. 25 years ago.

Despite my parents' NYC background, I didn't encounter "youse" or variants

thereof until the summer before I entered college, when I had a job in the

city. Of course, my parents claim they moved to Westchester so I WOULDN'T grow

up talking like that!

Alice Faber