Prince   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 04:58 GMT
i just don't understand why so much people make fun of some americans who use Y'all or YOU ALL for the second person plural when it makes a lot of more sense than using YOU for plural and singular,
don't y'all think that everybody should adopt this americanism?
mjd   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 06:46 GMT
This term is characteristic of the Southern dialect.

While I have nothing against it, we have no plans of adopting this "Southernism" in the North.
patsd   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 06:57 GMT
Y'all is not a combination of the words "you" and "all" like most people think. It is indeed "Ye" and "all". Some of the words and expression that Southerners use very quickly reveal their roots in the British Isles from a few hundred years ago.
Damian   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 07:35 GMT
Y'all! I like his expression..it seems friendly and nice and to me typifies the American Deep South. Is there a North/South Divide still in existence in the USA, with linguistics all part of it?

In England (not the UK...just in England alone) there has always been a clearly defined N/S division with each criticising the other about many things.....the southerners saying the northerners are a sort of less cultured sub species, and use strange expressions like "ee, bah gum" and "by the 'eck as like!" and northerners accuse southerners of being snooty and unfriendly and talk "posh"!

I'm not sure what happens in the Midlands - a bit of both maybe. But what do I know really...I'm an ignorant Scot and we still run around in animal skins and wield clubs up there :-)
mjd   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 07:39 GMT
"Is there a North/South Divide still in existence in the USA, with linguistics all part of it?"

Ryan   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 16:27 GMT
Studies show that Northern Americans believe their English to be the "most correct" English. While Southern Americans believe their English to be the "most pleasant" English. Thus, both groups have "good reasons" for continuing to talk the way that they do, and it's extremely doubtful that there will ever be any kind of dialect leveling on the part of North and South.

Plus, the popularity of NASCAR in this country and its plethora of Southern drivers has given the Southern accent a little bit more credibility than it used to have among Northerners, as NASCAR is not just a sport watched in the South anymore.
Prince   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 18:26 GMT
Maybe the origin of the word it's ye all,
except that everybody who uses it will tell you
that it's you all.
Fred   Saturday, June 05, 2004, 18:39 GMT
I'm from latin america,
i moved to new york not long time ago,
as an outsider i can tell you that the southern accent
is more famous than the northern one, by faaaaaaaaaar
at least where i'm from.
Dulcinea del Toboso   Monday, June 07, 2004, 01:32 GMT
Certain regions of the north, albeit limited in geographic area, have "youse", "yins", and "yez"
Juan   Monday, June 07, 2004, 01:53 GMT
It's part of the African American vernacular. Wassupy'all. So it gets my tick of approval.
Jim   Monday, June 07, 2004, 01:59 GMT
Perhaps "y'all" is an abrieviation of both "you all" and "ye all" depending on whether it's the object or the subject. Considering the fact that "you" and "ye" were originally the plural with the singular being "thee" and "thou" I don't think it such a great idea to adopt "y'all", "youse", "yins" or "yez" for the plural. I'd much rather revert to "thee" and "thou" for the singular.
Singular   Monday, June 07, 2004, 16:06 GMT
You all
you guys

All of these are less confusing than using ''you'' for both singular and plural and also all of them sound slangish except for the first two.
Damian   Monday, June 07, 2004, 18:27 GMT
I thought "youse" was used mainly in parts of New York City....like Brooklyn, is it? Is there a distinct Brooklyn accent? Or a Bronx accent? Is Manhattan a bit "up market" then? :-) Well, London apparently has some "smart accent" areas...Princess Diana used to have something called a "Sloane Ranger" accent which people of her class and background are supposed to use. Who exactly does use "youse"?
Damian   Monday, June 07, 2004, 18:29 GMT
Looking back I think Dulcinea has pre-answered me! Ooops! Thanks, Dulcinea!
Dulcinea del Toboso   Monday, June 07, 2004, 19:00 GMT
There is a distinct Brooklyn accent. Occasionally you will hear of a famous person from Brooklyn who remarks on how their accent was perceived as "lower" than the speech of Manhattan. So, yes, Manhattan speech has traditionally had much higher prestige than Brooklynese. The book, _A Tree Grows In Brooklyn_ mentions this subject and the contemporary linguistics professor William Labov, among many others, has studied it.

It's interesting that "you" (which used to be the Objective form of the 2nd person plural) is now the standard for all forms of the 2nd person. That is, it used to be that:

2nd person singular: Thou (nominative), Thee (accusative)
2nd person plural: Ye (nominative), You (accusative)

The use of "you" exclusively in some translations of the Bible has resulted in complaints of inaccuracy and loss of meaning in passages where the distinction between singular and plural was important.