Monday, August 21, 2006

embracing y'all

I've adopted the word - or, more correctly, the phrase - "y'all". I know, I'm probably not completely entitled to it, since I'm not a southerner - I kind of figure that southern Ontario doesn't really count. While I'm pretty south, I'm not in the deep south (like Windsor) but still, I have claimed it as my own. I'm not exactly sure when or why, but I think my kids have something to do with it. An example:

me (referring to the school trip Charles was going on): you're going to have so much fun!
charles: who, me?
me: well, you - and your whole class, of course
charles: but you said "you" so you meant me, right?
me: uh - well yes - but you - all of you - your whole class
charles: but you just said "you"
me: well I did, but I meant all of you
charles: but you didn't say that
oh and you just know it went on from there until I nearly chewed my own leg off...but I digress...

Part of the problem is that in English, there is no plural form of "you". In French it's "vous" for the plural (or vous for a formal singular "you") but maybe that's why Charles & Max just don't get the collective "you" when I try to explain stuff to them. When you think about it, it's confusing, and more evidence that English is a totally whacked out language after all. And while I don't condone it, you (all of you, I mean) can almost see where the (and god help me that I'm going to actually say this) "yous" comes from. Now I'm shuddering even seeing that written down, but it kind of makes some sense, when you're trying to get across the plural "you" to people who don't get it. But people, DO NOT EVER SAY YOUS. I know you won't. So this, this brings me to y'all. When you think about it, it's the perfect compromise. It's "you all" but it's one syllable - so it's like "you" - only more descriptive.

So. Will it catch on in the Hammer? Probably not. But the kids get it, which is cool. And maybe I'll become cool because of it...with the under 10 set, anyway.

'Night, y'all.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

In old english the plural form for you is ye (sp? maybe yea?) Still often heard in Newfoundland ...

e-Lizabeth said...

true enough - and rather posh-sounding (and not as in the Spice)

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