The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Your call is very important to us….

| 23 Comments

Just want to let you know that, yes, there will be more posts on our trip to Tel Aviv. Be patient. All three of us have been down with some ucky virus, and lots of other things to do. But we’re getting there.

skzb

corwin

Author: corwin

Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

23 Comments

  1. Hope y’all feel better.

  2. May you feel better soon.

  3. Something to make you feel better.

    Did you realize that “Ya’ll” is actually singular. The plural is “All ya’ll.”

    Hope all ya’ll feel better.

  4. An ex of mine (who was born in Texas, of course) once tried to explain to me the rules for y’all and all y’all. Y’all is definitely plural — it refers to a group of people. According to her, all y’all is for a ton of people, or a group of groups.

    I do think y’all (not all y’all) is a useful addition to English, though.

  5. Depends where you are. In much of the South, y’all in singular. In at least much of Texas, y’all is plural.

  6. “y’all” can usually function as “you,” which in our spectacularly ambiguous language, can of course be singular or plural at need. In its obvious etymology “y’all” is clearly meant as plural, but singular is pretty common. It’s just the nature of 2nd person… we don’t have “thou” anymore either. I miss it sometimes, y’all.

  7. During my Jr. HS years my family moved to PA from VA, then back to VA 3 years later. This “y’all” discussion brings back memories of some spirited discussions about the relative merits of that particular colloquialism. I was always of the opinion that people who said “you’uns” and/or “youse guys” had little room to talk.

  8. “Y’all” is sometimes addressed to one person, as in, “Hey, Joe, y’all comin’ to the barbecue tonight?” but it *means* “Are you, your wife, and your four children coming?” Singular in appearance, plural in intent.

  9. It was actually just a joke, but I use to teach high school Spanish and “ya’ll” is how I explained Vosotros (you plural). Oddly enough most other languages differentiate you plural but English doesn’t. Ya’ll does make a strong arguement for it’s use.

  10. @11

    My Spanish Prof. did the same thing.

  11. “Y’all” is very definitely plural in all the parts of the South I ever lived in (Alabama, Mississippi, rural western North Carolina, and Arkansas). And, Jo’din, note the correct placement of the apostrophe, please — it’s a contraction of “you all”, not of “ya will”.

    As TexAnne said, “y’all” addressed to a single person means “you and yours” — “Are y’all going to the picnic?” is not the same question as “Are you going to the picnic?” Kit’s right about “all y’all” — it’s a more emphatic plural, emphasizing inclusiveness, used with a group of groups or the like — “All y’all listen up now! Red team, y’all pick up trash by the creek! Blue team, y’all pick up around the tables.”

  12. If it’s not a real word can I spell it incorrectly?

    If we’re going to make rules about y’all shoudl we capitalize in the formal for people unknown to us? (Ex: Welcome Y’all) Then we can use lowercase for the familiar. (Ex: What are y’all doing?)

    I personally like Kit’s definition. All y’all are taking this way too seriously. I know y’all are smarter than that.

  13. But it is a real word, as real as “can’t” or “won’t” — it’s a contraction of “you all”.

    We don’t capitalize other pronouns when using them for unknown people, so why would “y’all” be any different?

  14. In other languages they actually use different words altogether for proper and familiar. In Spanish you can insult someone (often intentionally) by refering to them in the familiar. Not to flame but the example of God vs, god comes to mind. (If y’all are offended by that example save the posts. I see that it’s weak but I will come up with a better argument. I’m not trying to offend anyone just examine how we grow our language.)

  15. Yes, and in English, we have the now-mostly-archaic “thee/thou” for second person singular/familiar, as well as “ye” to complement “you” in the plural. They’ve simply fallen out of common use.

  16. As a life-long resident of the South (with the unfortunate experience of 3 years in upstate NY which is also about as redneck as you can get) I can definitively state that “y’all” is both singular and plural. Depends on the context.

    “you’uns” on the other hand is just plain bad english…

  17. “you’uns” sounds like a sidedish at TGIF. Y’all want some you’uns with a bowl of pig eatins?

  18. corwin

    Ya want that with ketchup, or extra grease?

  19. Ohh, the international variant of con-crud, ick. Recover quickly and well.

    Oh, and Y’all is its own plural.

  20. Any Tel Aviv stories to tell?

  21. schmwarf: Yes, I should get to that. Thanks for the reminder! God, it was great!

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