Monday, October 5, 2009

All about Y'all

From Wikipedia: "Y'all, archaically spelled "You-all'", is a contraction of the phrase "you all", and is pronounced as one syllable. It is used as a plural second-person pronoun."

Some folks in different parts of the country say you guys, some say you all, we say y'all.  Many people spell it ya'll.  In fact that's the way I spelled it until about 2000 until being told I had been spelling incorrectly for 20 years by my creative writing teacher.  Since I tend to think language is always evolving then I can give a slight pass to this spelling since ya can be a colloquially shortened form of you.

However there is a billboard company in town that has a billboard up that says, "Hey Ya'll" on it, which I think is tacky since they are a pretty large business and much of that business is to spell things correctly. 

If you are watching a movie or reading a book and they use y'all when only referring to one person that is an incorrect usage.  If I ask y'all to come over to one or more people I'm probably asking you and your wife to come have dinner.  If I say "all y'all need to come over" then I'm probably talking about all of us and friends we have in common to come over for an event. 

Y'all got any more to add?  Post them in the comments.

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