“You Guys”, “Y’all”, or Nothing at All!

Hey, you guys! Yesterday, I attended an online webinar by a writing coach, and, y’all, she was perfectly normal throughout the entire webinar. She was very professional, yet friendly and concise. It was a meaningful and educational event. However, in the follow-up Facebook Live discussion that evening, she said “you guys” at least ten times in the first fifteen minutes. I had my finger poised on “Close Tab” after the first five times. Finally, after a few more hits, I fled.

Am I being a snob? I don’t think so. If the light’s in your eyes, you have a right to pull down the shade. If something hurts you ears, you can put in your earplugs or walk away.

To me, “you guys” sounds like something Joey Tribbiani or Vincent Laguardia Gambini would say. No offense intended.

For the record, I feel that “you guys” is just way too casual and slangy for addressing a professional group.

“Hello, you guys! What do you guys think? Did you guys enjoy the webinar? I sure hope you guys learned a lot. I’d appreciate it if you guys would fill out an evaluation sheet before you go.”

It wasn’t that bad—but still…

Coincidentally, both “you guys” and “y’all” are being discussed a lot lately—not the way that, IMHO, I think they should be discussed, but it’s a start.

There are those who feel that “you guys” is no longer appropriate because it smacks of “Bro”, ie., real guys, and is no longer gender appropriate, given all of our new gender classifications.

OK. I get it.  But now they’re lobbying for “y’all” to replace it!

Well, bless your heart!

Just no. “Y’all” should never be spoken north of the Mason-Dixon line. Whenever I hear it said by someone without a Southern accent, I wince. Either you’re Southern or you’re not.

For the record, I was born in Massachusetts. To some, that may sound like I’m a Yankee, but if you were born in Massachusetts, you know that only those whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower are true Yankees. The rest of us are riff-raff. Go ahead. Ask anyone with immigrant ancestors who came in through Ellis Island in the 20s. The Mayflower Yankees look down their patrician Hah-vid Yahd noses at us.

I must be missing something because I find it easier to just say “you”. No need for fancy euphemisms for folks, fellow Americans, people of the world, members of the audience, etc.

“Hello! What do you think? Did you enjoy the webinar? I sure hope you learned a lot. I’d appreciate it if you would fill out an evaluation sheet before you go.”

Simple. Easy. And Understood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.