Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 08:44:33 CST
From: Ellen Johnson Ellen.Johnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]INETGW.WKU.EDU
Subject: Re: singular y'all
Don't we do this about every 6 months? I'll repeat my singular
experience with singular y'all, since it fits neatly with David Johns
observations in that 1) usage was by an African-American
teenager and 2) it could be construed as the polite plural/
avoidance of intimacy usage, which is fascinating in that we
might be seeing an English parallel to tu/vous.
[skip long story about my car engine blowing up] I found myself
one afternoon standing outside the Greyhound bus station in
Columbus, GA, all alone at the corner of the sidewalk, suitcase
at my feet. Along came a young black man, head down with
a deferential demeanor, who said as he passed, "How y'all?"
It was the highlight of that trip, I guess you could say.
ellen.johnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]wku.edu