YOU ALL is not Y'ALL

Dennis Baron debaron at UIUC.EDU
Mon Jan 26 18:01:06 UTC 2004

On Jan 26, 2004, at 11:38 AM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
> Subject:      YOU ALL is not Y'ALL
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> YOU ALL as an emphatic form of YOU is quite common outside the South.

Thanks, Ron, for reminding the list that there is a non-Southern you
all as well. That reminds me of a phrase that still strikes me as odd:

thank all you . . .

The first time I noticed it was in scripted speech--a 1940s John Wayne
western (I forget which one, maybe "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon") where
Wayne, playing a soldier, says to some group of people, "Thank all you
for [I don't remember now what he thanked them for]"

What would have sounded normal to my ear would be "Thank you all [for
coming, for whatever}" or even "I'd like to thank all of you for ...."
But that's not what the man said. The reason I remember it is that the
very next day I heard a lecture by Charles Fillmore in which he
insisted that "thank all you" could not occur in English. He didn't
appreciate my counterexample. People don't say it much if at all today,
but was it ever common?



Dennis Baron                                                office: 217-244-0568
Professor of English and Linguistics              mobile: 217-840-0776
Department of English                                           fax: 217-333-4321
University of Illinois   
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801
debaron at

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