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One More

Started by Mister URL, August 30, 2022, 06:36:58 PM

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Mister URL

OK. One more, then I will stop, promise ...

You and You and Youse and Ya'll

Suppose you hollered out, "I want you to come down off those monkey bars!" What child are you talking to? Or are you talking to all of them? The good old pronoun 'you' has a problem: It is used for both singular and plural. Everyone hates that except linguists. Or maybe they hate it as well. I do not know any linguists.

It is unnatural to call a bunch of people 'you' so the speakers of English have worked out fixes. In the South, it becomes 'you all' or 'y'all' and I have heard Northerners, mainly in New York, say 'youse' or 'yez' (which I take to be 'yous', just adding an 's' to 'you' to make it plural) to address more than one individual. But all of those are considered 'bad English' and unusable in acceptable writing and conversation. People think you are an ignoramus if you use them. Language is a churning, alive thing. It seems like this would have fixed itself by now.

Add on later: I wrote a short story once, an essay on Grunts. You may want to look it up and read that for more on what I think of sounds.
"...Things I learned in a bobo jungle are things they never taught me in a classroom ..."
― NOT Merle Haggard