June 11, 2015

"Why I’m finally convinced it's time to stop saying 'you guys.'"

"If you get a jump on changing now, you can avoid being like your grandfather who is still saying 'negro' because he doesn't mean anything by it and that's what they used to say in his day and he doesn't see the point of evolving. Don't get left behind, y'all/friends/everyone/folks."

An article at Vox.

By the way, this isn't only about being inclusive toward women. Some men don't like being called guys.
I knew a woman — a generation older than me — who once got snapped at by her husband for addressing the males in the group as "guys" one too many times. If I remember correctly, there were a few couples who went hiking together, and the woman tended to call out "Come on, guys" and that sort of thing until the husband let her see that he'd been fuming about it for a long time. It was dismissive and demeaning and he'd had enough.

So "guys" is a funny word. You might think it's just nicely casual and friendly, but the other person might really have a thing about it. Maybe the husband described above wanted him and his friends to be addressed as "gentlemen. " Mixed groups would be addressed as "ladies and gentlemen." You don't hear that much anymore, and calling a woman a "lady" could be taken as an insult in some circles. Now, consider that the female term that corresponds to "guy" is "doll." If you can't imagine addressing a mixed group as "guys and dolls," maybe you shouldn't say "guys." You wouldn't address a mixed group as just "gentlemen."  Inclusiveness may sound distressingly new, but it's actually old. You'd know you'd need to say "ladies and gentlemen." So you should have to say "guys and dolls." But you're not going to do that.

153 comments:

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Now, consider that the female term that corresponds to "guy" is "doll."

Not gal?

Ann Althouse said...

I'm saying "dolls" based on the OED:

guy...

d. A man, fellow. orig. U.S....

1847 ‘Lord Chief Baron’ Swell's Night Guide (new ed.) 41, I can't tonight, for I am going to be seduced by a rich old Guy....
1904 Cincinnati Commercial Tribune 29 June 4 Mr. Bryan is a hefty guy when it comes to Democratic conventions and the platforms thereof....
1928 D. H. Lawrence in T.P.'s & Cassell's Weekly 7 July 333/3, I say to Mother: Show me somebody happy, then! And she shows me some guy, or some bright young thing, and gets mad when I say: See the pretty monkey!...
1931 D. Runyon (title) Guys and Dolls....
1966 P. G. Wodehouse Plum Pie i. 32 All the other places..had been full of guys and dolls standing bumper to bumper.

Freeman Hunt said...

I've always seen "guys" as inclusive of men and women. Like "people" but more friendly. "Hey, people," versus "Hey, guys."

Beldar said...

Never understood why anyone would say or write "You guys" when "y'all" is so vastly superior in every respect.

Anonymous said...

I'll still say guys and gals.

Unless of course you're making demands instead of suggestions.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

Seriously?

rhhardin said...

Dames.

Dames Violet.

hombre said...

Guys and gals. Not guys and dolls. The word is not a musical.

YoungHegelian said...

Once a few years ago, at a local mall, I watched as a cohort of teenage girls ambled by. One of the girls stopped to tie her shoes, while the rest of the group continued walking at a fast clip. "Hey, guys, wait up!" the shoe-tieing lass hollered.

I found that a strange linguistic usage, since to my eyes there wasn't a "guy" in the group.

It's like French. The uber-"correct" third-person plural personal pronoun for a group of females is the masculine "Ils". The feminine "Elles" is also correct, but is more informal. "Guys" has filled the role as the non-gendered, informal mode of address for a group of individuals, male, female, or mixed.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

guys and gals = 17.5M Google hits (no quotes)
guys and dolls = 15M Google hits

OED origin for gals? If I remember correctly guy is from Guido (Guy) Fawkes, but I don't know about gal.

hombre said...

The "world," that is.

rhhardin said...

Cunts is inclusive in Britain.

jimbino said...

Archie Bunker would say, "Youse guys," which no doubt meant "all y'all."

Freeman Hunt said...

I hear "guys" used all the time by women in groups that consist exclusively of women. I don't think "guys" is gender specific anymore. It has changed over time.

rhhardin said...

The Random House Webster's College Dictionary ranks words on offensiveness, if you want to compose a microaggression.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"guy or gal" = 431k Google hits
"guy or doll" = 139k Google hits

Google NGram viewer guy

Google NGram viewer gal, doll

Ann Althouse said...

"I hear "guys" used all the time by women in groups that consist exclusively of women. I don't think "guys" is gender specific anymore. It has changed over time."

Of course, it's used that way, otherwise there would be no point in writing about how you think it should not be used like that. Just because something has developed over time doesn't mean it's in the right place now.

Michael said...

lads chaps mates dudes sports fellows gang

bwebster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

I don't know why shifts of meaning can't be detected by these sensitive language experts.

It's probably a resurgence of the complaint about the generic man and he.

Oppressed faculty man once again will be forced to pack their talks with his or her and its newer equivalents lest an attending feminist take offense.

As if the generic gender didn't exist.

Paul said...

Personally, I would use "gals" as the complement of "guys" as I've heard it far more in speech unrelated to Broadway. My parents were from the Animal House, pre Boom generation and that was the common pairing for them in casual conversation. YMMV

Ann Althouse said...

"Guys and dolls" lost out over time because it's so strongly associated with the book/musical by that name. That's why it seems to weird for you. It is too weird! That's my point!

I agree that "guys and gals" has some currency, maybe in dumb magazine writing. But in speech, addressing real people, I don't think you want to call women gals. That's really old fashioned. Or jocose.

bwebster said...

Courtesy of Jeryl Bier over on Twitter: "You know who else says 'you guys' a lot?"

Put the following into any search engine: site:whitehouse.gov "you guys" "first lady"

rhhardin said...

I always use whom for men and who for women.

rhhardin said...

News: you can call women guys.

Who the hell says you can't?

rhhardin said...

If guy is uninterested in the neurotic register of women's minds, he calls them guys.

It's their ordinary moral obligation to get over it.

rhhardin said...

I think women may be overblowing their minds and they're running on harmonics.

Breathe easier and try thinking it through again. The fundamental note is more musical anyway.

Also check that your fingers completely cover all the holes.

tim maguire said...

I don't think there's a sound logical assertion anywhere in this post. I will never allow the range of my vocabulary to be determined by the most touchy person in the room and I will stop using "guys" in a gender neutral manner the day after I stop using "gypped" because linguistic incompetants insist it is insulting to gypsies.

William said...

I wished my life had such a level of tranquility and equanimity that being addressed as "guy" caused a ripple in its smooth surface.

rhhardin said...

United Negro College Fund.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

fivewheels said...

Writing a self-congratulatory manifesto on this topic shows not that you are the most caring and wonderful person in the world, as you imagine, but only that you don't have enough to do in your life and are spending inordinate time thinking about bullshit.

Paul said...

Dolls/dames is only used if you are imitating Cagney or Bogart for affect. It suggests you are wearing a fedora which no one should ever do.

fivewheels said...

My favorite rum is Guyanese. El Dorado 12-year-old. Sweeeeet.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Kathleen: I hardly think I need advice from someone who--

Joe [puts his hand over her mouth]: I concede I bring out the worst in you, but let me help you not to say something you'll just torture yourself about for years to come.

- You've Got Mail

Lyle said...

y'all is the way to go. get with the program y'all!

sydney said...

What would you use instead? The ladies and gentlemen is too formal. Neither "gals" nor "dolls" seems right. "Y'all" doesn't sound right unless you are Southern. Youse? (Pittsburgh speak for "you guys") "You people?" "Guys" as a gender-neutral word for a group of people seems the best choice to me.

EMD said...

YINZ solves the gender issue, and keeps jagoffs from writing about "you guys."

/Picksburgh

robinintn said...

Perhaps while the banning fever is on, we can take on that special, smirky, condescending "folks" Obama uses. The use that clearly says "These rubes think I relate to them. What idiots. I'm far superior."

gadfly said...

Erick Erickson got it right on Rush's show today. In the South, "they still say "Y'all" while our Northeastern brethren are happier with "Youse Guys."

The techie startup known as "NPM" (Nice People Matter?), out of Oakland, Californ-i-a believe that sticking their noses into the private lives of Americans is somehow kosher. When you worm your way into managing Javascript, you have the world on a string - but not all kites will fly.

Not this one anyway. When I say "Hey Guys" to a mixed group, it means I like you people. NPM wants to return to the world of "his/hers."

Original Mike said...

In the early 80s a friend from North Carolina joined our research group in Madison and was taken aback that us northerners called a mixed group "guys". Apparently, that was not done when/where he grew up.

Sebastian said...

This guys-as-sexist meme has been around for a long time.

But in the patriarchy where all things male are superior to all things female, why isn't including women in guys an upgrade for them? Usurping exclusivity and reappropriating categories and all that--classic form of resistance by the downtrodden, no?

paminwi said...

The only time that "you guys" bothers me is when we are out to dinner and the waiter/waitress says " are you guys ready to order?"

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Stop? Not just 'no', 'hell no', you guys.

Laslo Spatula said...

Gals don't suck cock.

Dolls MIGHT suck cock.

Chicks ALWAYS suck cock.

Eventually.

Related:

Is Caitlyn Jenner is a chick?

Does Caitlyn Jenner suck cock?

If Caitlyn Jenner sucks your cock are you still a 'guy'?

Bro, I am talking to you.

I am Laslo.








kcom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

I use either "y'all" or "folks," depending on the nature of the crowd.

Laslo Spatula said...

See? It just sounded like I'm talking about women who may or may not suck cock, but it really is about Althouse's previous post on 'Bros'.

I wish I didn't have to explain this.

I am Laslo.

Michael K said...

"What would you use instead? "

Pussies ?

Just kidding.

readering said...

Do they still say birds in England?

kcom said...

Bitches has some currency, too. Ask Dave Chapelle.

Good evening, bitches. (1:58)

Fernandinande said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
guys and gals = 17.5M Google hits (no quotes)
guys and dolls = 15M Google hits


With quotes it's 295 and 283 actual hits.

Quite a difference.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

In anger, guys are 'motherfuckers.'

In equivalent anger, women are 'motherfucking bitches.'

I sense a grant coming my way.

I am Laslo.

Mark said...

Let's just cut to the chase and settle on "Comrades."

fivewheels said...

And guess what? It's not that hard to change if you want to. For most of my life, I said "fag" on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes to refer to gay people, sometimes not. But it's been at least five years since I've done so, maybe 10, really. The only point to that is that I didn't write a big blowjob piece about myself for adjusting and don't think I deserve a fucking medal. Just go ahead and change if you want to and shut the fuck up.

Fernandinande said...

"If you get a jump on changing now, you can avoid being like your grandfather who is still saying 'negro' because he doesn't mean anything by it and that's what they used to say in his day and he doesn't see the point of evolving.

Free advice for the primitives at the United Negro College Fund ?

Don't get left behind, y'all/friends/everyone/folks."

"One weird trick and you can (almost!) be k3wl like me!"

Virgil Hilts said...

First they came for the word niggardly, but I did nothing. Next they took away "thugs" and said it was wrong; I protested that taking it away was spastic and retarded!, but in the end I did nothing. Then they took away oriental, chinese wall, brown bag, citizen and I thought, OK, will this be enough to please them? But then they came for "guys"? Give me a fucking break.

ALP said...

Fucking A...I am seriously considering using the term Homo sapien in all cases. You can't argue with Latin, can you?

Oh shit. I just realized that works until I run into someone that LOOKS human but identifies as another species. Species dysmorphia?

Damn.

clint said...

This is just a regionalism.

In New Jersey and parts of New York, "Youse guys" has been turned into "You guys" as the plural of "you".

It's the same as "Y'all" in some parts of the south and "All y'all" in others.

The word "guy" is no more a part of the idiom "you guys" than the upward direction is a part of "put up" or "make up" or "send up"...

Deirdre Mundy said...

So... prejudiced against New Jersey people? And the Electric Company?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFYMijdQ_sA

Roger Smith said...

@vox F$(% all ya'll

holdfast said...

As a non-Southerner, I must ask: What is the difference between "Y'all" and "All Y'all"?

Is it just emphasis?

themightypuck said...

I work for a giant multinational corporation and I write a lot of emails and I frequently write "guys" and then end up changing it to something else. Most frequently is "All". Very inclusive but it doesn't relay say what "guys" says.

sean said...

It's amazing the fatuity that Althousean politics will lead you into. I recommend ignoring issues like this one entirely, in favor of some more timeless learning.

Sofa King said...

You know something? My grandfather (RIP) was a great man who served in World War II, raised and provided for a wonderful family, was both humble and wise, was gentlemanly to all people, and could not be bothered to give a shit what somebody would think of him using the word "negro." He figured life was too short for that kind of drama, and it was.

If I can be half the man he was, I'd be happy.

Lucien said...

Why not just use "Humans" -- and see who takes umbrage.

SGT Ted said...

Good thing I don't give a shit about the latest language police APB issued by that chick.

Craig Landon said...

Hostess is at it again.

SGT Ted said...

I mean really. This is just SJW bullshit from Vox. Who really takes it seriously?

Quaestor said...

I've had it up to here with gripers and grievence whores. Do you remember that wonderful Zucker Brothers opus called Airplane? I you do you'll recall the main character was obsessed with his own stupid anxieties, and he could not resist spilling his guts to anyone he could buttonhole. I'm that Hindu guy who after listening to the third hour of Ted Striker's tragic life story is last seen dousing himself with gasoline.

This country would be much better off if everybody grew a decent hide. As it is we all mincing about like a bunch of fountleroys with skins so thin we can't even brush against a rose thorn without being disemboweled. And we should start bottling up our worthless, unproductive, uninteresting, boring as hell, touchy-feely feelings; if you cannot not talk about your "feelings" you should bloody well STFU.

richard mcenroe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richard mcenroe said...

Another First World Problem for the special snowflakes.

I'm just going to start using "assholes" as a generic greeting; those guys can be free to acknowledge it or not as they see fit. I don't see why it would be a problem though. After all, you can't complain about being described by a quality you're exhibiting...

tim in vermont said...

Life is too short to be policed on every matter of speech.

Mark wins the thread, IMHO

Let's just cut to the chase and settle on "Comrades."

Scott M said...

Oh yeah. I'll start worrying about shit like this when the younger women around me stop referring to each other, openly, as "bitch" and "slut".

Scott M said...

Of course, it's used that way, otherwise there would be no point in writing about how you think it should not be used like that. Just because something has developed over time doesn't mean it's in the right place now.

Just how affluent does a society need to be before this sort of thing becomes an issue?

n.n said...

Clumps [of cells] is a popular abstraction in polite company, that can refer to male, female, and trans equally. Although, it is nonconforming with [class] diversity policy. Still, pro-choice.

clint said...

"holdfast said...
As a non-Southerner, I must ask: What is the difference between "Y'all" and "All Y'all"?

Is it just emphasis?"

Also not from the south, but my understanding is that it's regional. In some dialects "y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural. In others "y'all" is used for both.

"You all", "you guys", "folks", and lots of other 2nd-person plural pronouns crop up in dialects all over the U.S.

There really seems to be a demand for a plural pronoun.

I'd guess we'll have a standard one in another generation or two.

Jane the Actuary said...

"You guys" is the second person plural in American (non-Southern) English.

At the restaurant: "how are you guys doing tonight?"

You dump it, you need to replace it? With what? Youse? Y'all? Or just steal the Thees & Thous and update the meaning from informal vs. formal to plural vs. singular?

How art thou doing tonight? Art thou ready to order? etc.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Yens. We replace it with Yens.

Michael said...

Comrades is what they are hoping for as a gender neutral lean-in conversational moniker for those helping progress. Comrades.

Zeb Quinn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

I use to substitute teach in Texas. I'm from Indiana and would sometimes address the class as you guys. Inevitably, a snotty teen girl would say, " what do you mean you guys, I'm not a guy.." So I switched to "you all". The south is ahead of their time I guess.

Joe said...

"You fuckers" works.

traditionalguy said...

Our new overlords clearly want Comrade restored,

Homosovieticus has no gender, it's is only to do and die like the Light Brigade until Utopia is upon us.

Gahrie said...

How do you say "parents" in Spanish? You say "fathers".

How come no one is bitching about Spanish?

Seriously, English is one of the least sexist languages around, so why are we taking all the shit?

Freeman Hunt said...

y'all = plural you
all y'all = all of you

Gahrie said...

Oh yeah. I'll start worrying about shit like this when the younger women around me stop referring to each other, openly, as "bitch" and "slut".

That is an outgrowth of the whole "It is OK for Black people to call each other nigger" school of thought.

Freeman Hunt said...

"'guy' is a gendered word"

This is incorrect. It used to be a gendered word. it isn't now.

The article lauds the loss of he. The author must have no ear.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Kelly - I had the same problem when I moved to TX from PA as a kid. (Thankfully we only stayed a year.) I ruined my chances at making friends when I addressed a group of girls as "Hey you guys" on the first day of school.

Though, anthropologists say we 'other' more based on accent than on looks. So.... maybe if we can adopt a nationally mandated accent, we can eliminate discrimination! Like Esperanto, except this time it will work!

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm surprised the husband snapped at the wife in front of the other couples.

PoNyman said...

I've been trying to get rid of my use of the word 'guys' for a while and I'm slowly getting better. It reminds me a weak teacher trying to quiet the class. On the better side though it also reminds me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pnrs3zu0xeI

I've also been trying to overcome my use of the phrase 'no problem' in place of "you're welcome", with a little more success.

kcom said...

"Fucking A...I am seriously considering using the term Homo sapien in all cases. You can't argue with Latin, can you?

Oh shit. I just realized that works until I run into someone that LOOKS human but identifies as another species. Species dysmorphia?"


What if you run into someone who doesn't look like a homo?

Michael said...

Come on, folks, it's boys and girls, men and women, ladies and gentlemen, guys and gals - depending on the context and overall tone. None of these is disparaging. "Gals" was a perfectly good word which unfortunately became tarnished by association with "gal Friday." This left us with two choices: use "girls" or make "guys" inclusive of males and females (et al.) The former was considered dismissive which left the latter. It would really be better to keep the good old words (as opposed to the bad ones) and tell the language police to pound sand. Guys and dolls is purely Runyonesque. And BTW there were guy Fridays as well.

The Cracker Emcee said...


"Of course, it's used that way, otherwise there would be no point in writing about how you think it should not be used like that. Just because something has developed over time doesn't mean it's in the right place now."

Talk about pissing in the wind. Hammering the round pegs of Political Correctness into the square holes of Reality. There are just far too many people who simply don't give a shit.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: Some men don't like being called guys.

OK, which men? Who? I don't believe you.

chickelit said...

Hammering the round pegs of Political Correctness into the square holes of Reality.

I always heard square pegs into round holes. Is there a difference?

richard mcenroe said...

Chickelit -- Well, the College of Cardinals can be a bit shirty on this point.

kcom said...

I knew a guy who objected to calling children (including his own) "kids" because he thought it was too demeaning in its goat-like associations. And I'm serious. If you want, you can find someone to object to anything. Doesn't mean it's worth giving a damn about.

And this guy was a college professor at a top 20 university. But then again, maybe that isn't surprising. (P.S. His daughter, one of his "kids", borrowed money from me and never paid it back. FWIW).

Looking at what I just wrote, I realize I used "guy" twice without even noticing. Again, who gives a damn. Or is it just the plural that's a (pseudo-)problem?

Bay Area Guy said...

The guys at Vox are Beta-male wussies. They make Robert Wright look like Clint Eastwood

Freeman Hunt said...

But then, you wouldn't use "guy" to refer to a specific female. This conversation wouldn't happen:

"Where did you get that coaster?"
"From that guy over there," he said, pointing to Irene.

guys, not gendered anymore
guy, gendered, masculine

chickelit said...

The good thing about Freeman is that she appreciated Norbert Wiener and self-correcting feedback (cybernetics).

Anonymous said...

It's seldom a problem at good restaurants with well trained staff, but the wait staff at causal dining restaurants tend to use "guys" a lot to address diners. If that happens when my wife and I go out to eat, I politely tell them to stop, that we do not like to be addressed as "guys", and that if they continue to do it during our meal, I will show my displeasure when it comes time to pay my bill. That nearly always elicits an apology and restores the courtesy and politeness which all diners are owed.

Freeman Hunt said...

But then you also wouldn't have this conversation:

"Where did you get that coaster?"
"From those guys over there," he said, pointing to Irene, Ethel, and Delores.

So...

guys in the second person: genderless
guys in the third person: gendered, masculine

Freeman Hunt said...

Irene, Ethel, and Delores, it's a multi-generational group of women.

Gahrie said...

If that happens when my wife and I go out to eat, I politely tell them to stop, that we do not like to be addressed as "guys", and that if they continue to do it during our meal, I will show my displeasure when it comes time to pay my bill.

Wow dude..pull that pickle out of your ass.

Freeman Hunt said...

I politely tell them to stop, that we do not like to be addressed as "guys", and that if they continue to do it during our meal, I will show my displeasure when it comes time to pay my bill.

"Oh, man! Did you hear that guy?"
"Yeah, a real wise guy."
"Thinks he's a tough guy."
"Don't be the fall guy. Play it Mr. Nice Guy."
"Plaguy customer."
"No, that's with 'ee."
"Smart guy."

chickelit said...

My grandfather's name was Guy. Nobody named a woman that in the 1900's.
Nobody names their kid that now because it's too generic and gender-bending.
More good word destroyed.

Fen said...

We use the universal "guys" now because when we tried to use "gals" instead, all the bitter feminists went hysterical on us.

So guys, you know what you can do with your NewSpeak.

chickelit said...

richard mcenroe said...
Chickelit -- Well, the College of Cardinals can be a bit shirty on this point.

Meaning that St. Peter's Square in Rome is actually round?

Conundrum

Aussie Pundit said...

so after years of mocking the South for the linguistic innovation "y'all", the rest of America is apparently finally ready to come on board.

rhhardin said...

It's seldom a problem at good restaurants with well trained staff, but the wait staff at causal dining restaurants tend to use "guys" a lot to address diners.

Wm. Kerrigan suggests some future trucker liking what he sees, leaning over the counter and asking, "So how long have you been a server, honey?"

Rusty said...

dem guys. Over by dare.

You guys are fulla shit.

You guys.

Very Chicago.

Bob R said...

Dierdre -I guessed Pittsburgh, not too far off.

Serious question: I use "Ladies and Gentlemen" as a salutation on formal letters to unknown parties - in particular, on letters of reference. If it was just for me, I'd be happy to be identified as a tool of the patriarchy and take my lumps. But I'm trying to help my students here. Does anyone think there is a serious risk that this salutation would be considered "offensive" in this context? My students are Math majors, so these letters are usually usually directed at people in STEM, but often to academics.

Skyler said...

A couple decades ago I was in Spain visiting a friend and met a lady who wanted to get rid of masculine and feminine gender in Spanish language. She said it was sexist to have "doctor" be a masculine noun (or whatever word, I don't know Spanish). I thought she was a nut.

One of the problems with having billions of people in the world is that there is enough stupidity in concentrated pockets that ruin the world for the sane and normal. Community organizers foment riots and feminists try to control people through threats, false accusations and attempts to alter language. It's very Orwellian.

The best way to stop these potential despots is to laugh at them, mock their childish sensitivities and then show them why they don't dominate society. They can't compete otherwise because they are too sensitive and childish.

Bob R said...

That nearly always elicits an apology and restores the courtesy and politeness which all diners are owed.

Except for what they do to your food before they bring it out.

tim in vermont said...

We killed the second person singular: thee,thou, thy, thine, and replaced it with the second person plural: you, your, yours.

So our language appears broken and in transition and some language Nazis want to enforce a solution and some prigs want us to avoid common speech so that, apparently, we can ape our betters. As if they wouldn't instantly find some other way to put down those of lower caste once they learned this trick of sounding "classy."

Let's manufacture new pronouns that sound more modern and politically correct. While we are at it we could acquiesce to the common usage of "them" for "him" because it sounds better than "him/her."

Or we could force everybody to learn a new language. English is a major problem because it is too rich in a tradition of individual human freedom, individual rights, and distrust of collective power. Look how hard it is for the English to be folded into a "post democratic" (their word, not mine) Europe, for example. We could call it Newspeak! What a great idea!

Mick said...

This is what you have to write about from the ivory tower of academia "law prof"? There is a usurper in the WH and more from the R team on the way and you write about a silly article from the idiot website "Vox"?

MayBee said...

The husband on the hike was an asshole.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

People who say "guys and dolls": ~zero.
Men offended buy "guys": ~zero.
People who use "guys" to refer to women: ~tens of millions.

MayBee said...

The most important accomplishment you can have in America these days is to find offense.

MayBee said...

I love the writing, that Vox chooses something now offensive as a way to kind of prove the word they want to be offensive will be offensive. "guys" is like "negro". Case closed!!

Actually, I see this movement to be more along the lines of "guys" is like "black person". Remember when "black" had it's moment in the sun as the racist term to use? We were supposed to use "African American" to prove our enlightenment. But that didn't work, because it was too hard to describe people from other countries! So we went back to "black" not being offensive.
We'll stick with "you guys" because it works.

Tank said...

Gahrie said...

If that happens when my wife and I go out to eat, I politely tell them to stop, that we do not like to be addressed as "guys", and that if they continue to do it during our meal, I will show my displeasure when it comes time to pay my bill.

Wow dude..pull that pickle out of your ass.


Wow, think about the "extra stuff" in their food. Ewwww.


MayBee said...

I have gay guy friends who say to each other, "hey, girl"

traditionalguy said...

The NewSpeak is going to take a while. We will not have reached Peak Equality until all nouns, much less pronouns, are replaced with a genuflection and a quick "yes" with lowered eyes.

Just who receives the respect required to be given is the issue. Maybe a golden statue of a computer?

.

geokstr said...

In case nobody's mentioned it yet, if you follow the link to Amazon, you can still pick up on the definitive and Complete Guide to Guys by one of the preeminent philosopher kings of the last century.

tim in vermont said...

All I ask of wait staff is service, and none too attentive either. Just don't ignore me when I am trying to get your attention is the right level of service.

I can't imagine giving > 0 fucks about how they addressed me as long as it wasn't intentionally rude.

MayBee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
virgil xenophon said...

Regionalism plays a role in the use of "gals" too. In the north its use is most often used as a compliment, e.g., "she's a great gal!" as in good-natured "gamer" who's totally well-rounded and can hang with the men--be it golf, drinking, etc.

In the Deep South, by contrast, for some reason it's seen as an arch insult--especially to black women. Trust me on this. In New Orleans when my wife was manager of the Burn Unit at old Charity Hospital in the mid 70s I walked in one day to deliver some urgent mail and said to her Nurses: "How are you gals doin' " Once at home my wife said: "Don't EVER use the word 'gals' again--it's the most insulting thing one can say to a woman." Lesson LEARNED in this little Indians household!

Just an old country lawyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roy Jacobsen said...

She persuaded me. From now on, when addressing the staff at Vox, instead of "you guys," we should say "you idiots."

Static Ping said...

Can we go with "vosotros"? Perhaps we can reserve "ustedes" for our betters, which presumably would include everyone at Vox. Of course, they will have to rename themselves to "Voz" to stay with the program. We all have sacrifices to make.

Brent said...

I think it is insulting. The old fashioned words my grandfather really did use come with much more history, including serious violence and discrimination, than the word "guy" ever will.

Who cares if people don't "like" a word, outside of the above historical contexts where it is much more understandable.

Brent said...
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Brent said...

Professor Althouse's example sounds outdated and old-fashioned. We are supposed to not be old-fashioned in our language so we don't offend old-fashion men.

Brent said...

"Just because something has developed over time doesn't mean it's in the right place now."

No, but as Benjamin Franklin found out, you can't usually force changes to language. It is the right place for right now. If it evolves, it evolves. But it can't be forced. Most grammarians now take the position that language means what people believe it to mean in the present. Right now, "guys" is a casual, inoffensive way to refer to a group (unless the group contains a ridiculous old man, like yours did).

Ron said...

Hey say Cats and Kittens! What's the thread?

Static Ping said...

Do not give power over your lives to habitually unhappy people. They never seem to get happier regardless of whatever you agree to, which only increases their demands, which only increases general misery. It is a stupid way to live.

You cannot please the perpetually aggrieved.

Furthermore, it is not wise to give power over your lives to the stupid, which is why I never pay attention to Vox.

Trashhauler said...

"Yens. We replace it with Yens."

I think "yuns" is more correct.

Brent said...

"That nearly always elicits an apology and restores the courtesy and politeness which all diners are owed."

And gets spit in you food. Congratulations.

Brent said...

Watching reruns of Greatest American Hero, I learned the excellent question, "how is a guy; guy?"

tim in vermont said...

De nada, de rien, shucks ma'am, 'twarn't nuthin...

How many languages must we clean up, those are only three with which I am acquainted.

When did Andy Rooney become the role model for intellectual discourse you guys?

n.n said...

tim in vermont:

Spanish as a second language in America is dead. Another victim of the social complex and pro-choice doctrine.

MadisonMan said...

Inevitably, a snotty teen girl would say, " what do you mean you guys, I'm not a guy.."

Then they grow up and write for Vox.

Folks is a lot harder to say than Guys. You have to move your lips!

I do agree with one thing in the article. If you are routinely addressing a large group of people that includes 1 woman and you are always saying "You guys" -- that's being rude to the woman.

As a denoter of a non-specific group of people, however, I'll keep using it. If a woman berates me for using "Guys" I can always ask Why on Earth do you care what words I use?

Zedediah Grimm said...

Althouse said "Of course, it's used that way, otherwise there would be no point in writing about how you think it should not be used like that. Just because something has developed over time doesn't mean it's in the right place now."

Zed says "Of course, [homosexuality and transgenderism is more accepted now] otherwise there would be no point in writing about how you think [homosexuality and transgenderism] should not be [acceptable in modern society]. Just because [acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism] has developed over time doesn't mean it's in the right place now.

'splain to me the difference Lucy. I'll just be waiting over here ...

Zedediah Grimm said...

Then of course there is this little gem. https://youtu.be/TFYMijdQ_sA

Smilin' Jack said...

"Why I’m finally convinced it's time to stop saying 'you guys.'"

I agree. "You people" is the proper term. Especially when addressing Jews or blacks.

JAORE said...

I agree that "guys and gals" has some currency, maybe in dumb magazine writing. But in speech, addressing real people, I don't think you want to call women gals. That's really old fashioned. Or jocose."

You REALLY think guys and DOLLS is preferable? Especially to those to whom "guys" is an assault on women?

Or the (suggested in the article) guys and GIRLS?

I guess I missed the sarcasm notation.

RonF said...

I have often heard women use the phrase "you guys" to refer to a group of other women or a mixed group. Who gave this person the authority to proclaim a given usage no longer acceptable? How is his authority to do so superior to anyone else's?

RonF said...

There's always "Y'all" and "All y'all" - the difference between which I had to have explained to me when I went to work, in the Chicago area, for a company based out of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Anthony said...

Tim in Vermont, thee and thou were the _familiar_ form while you was the _formal_, not singular and plural. Thou/tu/tu/du and you/vous/usted/sie.

mikee said...

Since nobody has said it yet, in Pittsburgh it is "you'se guys" which always made me laugh, when my aunts from up north would say that during visits to my North Carolina home, where "y'all" was the group descriptor.