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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jun 12 17:38:19 UTC 2015

> On Jun 12, 2015, at 12:46 PM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
>      From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Sent: Friday, June 12, 2015 11:45 AM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] fines for saying "you guys" to mixed groups?
>> ...
> Here's an apposite passage from another book of his, in which he strenuously objects to the use of sex-neutral (or female-referring) "guys" in either vocative or referential contexts, and calling out "the friendly male and female swim and gym teachers" who "address the children, even in their all-girl classes, as 'you guys' in nearly every sentence they utter, thus subliminally inculcating in their innocent and malleable charges, from a very tender age on, that _being a guy_ is what one really wants in this world."  
> JSB:
> Guy = athlete (at least potentially)in the minds of Phys. Ed. teachers, coaches, etc.  
Yes, but it can be a bit more complicated. Here's Geno Auriemma, coach of UConn’s perennial national champion women’s basketball squad in a radio interview 2/3/03, on the problems posed by the fact that his team was less deep than usual so his substitutes couldn’t give his five superb starters a good test when practicing defending national when practicing.

We bring guys in because it’s hard to go 5 guys against 5 guys in practice. 

(The first "guys" is <+ masc>, the other two obviously not.)  Of course in women's basketball, you still get "man-on-man" defense but I've heard Auriemma refer to one of his stars as "my go-to guy", never to one as "my go-to man" (or "woman", for that matter).  


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list