"Y'all" redux

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Feb 21 00:14:10 UTC 2005

>Sorry for leaving out the word "routinely": "that Southerners *routinely*
>address individuals as 'y'all.' "
>I was so angry that I'd accidentally deleted the earlier, better phrased
>post before I sent it that I left out a key word.
>But it certainly is remarkable that any evidence  that some Southerners,
>in certain circumstances, can actually use a singular "y'all" is denounced
>or ridiculed.
>So if one ever does hear a singular y'all from a Southerner, that
>Southerner is just a-play-actin' for the furriners.  Or "perceived"
>furriners, perhaps. Or the Southerner is really from Texas, which doesn't
>count. Or West Texas, for sure.

Certainly I hope not to make anyone angry. I do not believe that I either
asserted or denied that some persons routinely use singular "y'all". If I
have to guess, I'll guess that some do ... how many, north or south, I
don't know. I don't recall being acquainted with such a person myself, but
that doesn't mean much. I doubt anybody here denies that some persons
sometimes use singular "y'all" (I'm sure nobody denies that singular "we"
or "they" occurs either). As for the 'furriners', the above sarcastic
inversion of my casual remark of course does not accurately represent my
belief: rather I believe that exaggeration of one's local speech
characteristics in certain contexts might partially explain contradictory
reports on this subject: the exaggeration might be done for tourists or for
one's local friends or just out of habit or whatever. Just my idle notion.

-- Doug Wilson

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