[Ads-l] fines for saying "you guys" to mixed groups?

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at ISCHOOL.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Jun 11 22:46:14 UTC 2015


From VOX:
> 
> The tech startup npm recently blogged about the unusual challenge some of its employees have agreed to participate in: they put a dollar in a glass jar every time they say "you guys.”
> 
> "We didn’t invent the idea, though I’m not sure where we first heard about it," reads the company's explanation on Tumblr. "But the idea is: if you believe that using the word 'guys' to describe a mixed-gender group of individuals is creeping sexism, and are trying to eliminate that word from your casual use, you put a dollar in the jar every time you do it accidentally.”
> 
> Jeane Anastas, a professor of social work at the NYU Silver School of Social Work whose research focuses in part on women's issues, said in an email to Vox, "Whatever Webster's dictionary says about the plural 'guys' ['used in plural to refer to the members of a group regardless of sex'] and despite the fact that I sometimes catch myself saying 'you guys' to people of all genders, 'guy' is a gendered word. "
> 
> http://www.vox.com/2015/6/11/8761227/you-guys-sexism-language

I haven’t tracked the development of these uses of ‘guys’ enough to have an opinion on this, but it surprised me at first.

Geoff
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