Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 09:45:57 -0800

From: David Harnick-Shapiro david[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BUCKAROO.ICS.UCI.EDU

Subject: Re: 2 pl

On Mon, 23 Jan 1995 22:27, Beth Lee Simon writes:

Someone on another list, in her reply to a question about why the list

seemed quiet this weekend, said/wrote/posted:

"But remember, lots of our guys are not in the eastern time zone."

My immediate understanding was that she meant, the males on the list, and

I was confused about why she would only mention the males. It was only

when I considered it, that I understood "our guys" to mean all of us.

Is "our guys" gender specific for anyone else?

Odd thing, that. When I read the example, my first thought was that

it was an awkward statement, and that the the author meant males.

However, I quickly thought of a situation in which the sentence did not

strike me as awkward: when *our* guys are being contrasted with their

guys (whoever "they" might be). And in this context "guy" is completely


Anton Sherwood wrote that Douglas Hofstadter reported hearing a woman say

"even _guys_" use the word `guys' for both genders. As in that example,

it seems that in my speech "guys", when stressed, is +male, but when

unstressed is epicene.


David Harnick-Shapiro Internet: david[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Information and Computer Science UUCP: ...!{ucbvax,zardoz}!ucivax!david

University of California, Irvine