Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 09:58:51 -0400
From: "M. Katherine MacKinnon" eslmkmx[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GSUSGI2.GSU.EDU
Subject: Re: y'all are crazy
I remember a grammar teacher somewhere back in my elementary school days
in Atlanta (70's) telling us that y'all was perfectly acceptable used
plurally in spoken English, as it was merely a contraction of "you all"
and we had plenty of other contractions in English, but that singular
usage was a sign of poor upbringing and education, along with all those other
prescriptive grammar rules we were supposed to be learning. In my 28
years in the South (mostly Atlanta, with four years in east TN for
college) I don't recall ever having heard anyone use y'all in the
singular except recent transplants...who eventually restricted it to
plural only (whether from conscious or unconscious influence, I couldn't
say). All of this is, of course, anecdotal...