Is folks supplanting the word people?

Hallo   Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:26 pm GMT
I see this word being used by americans more and more including politicians like Obama and Hilary in place of people. I was just wondering if this supplanting the latter word in american english?
Guest   Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:43 pm GMT
I don't think so.
Skippy   Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:13 pm GMT
I doubt it. Although it's relatively common, people is still far more widespread and it will probably remain so.
Benny   Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:12 pm GMT
I think "folks" was a term you only heard in rural America a generation ago. Now I hear politicians saying it trying to sound "folksy", or more rural. That's just my preception and I have an inherent bias against this word.
Lazar   Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:51 pm GMT
No, I don't think it's supplanting "people" in any significant way in American English. My guess is that you'd be more likely to hear "folks" among campaigning politicians than among Americans in general.
Skippy   Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:58 pm GMT
I say "folks" frequently, but I suppose it's atypical. To me "folks" connotates a more specific subgroup than "people" but it's a gray line, no need to really get into it.
Guest   Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:19 am GMT
I like the word 'folks' because it sounds almost the same as 'fucks' in my accent. So I can refer to the management as 'fucks' and no one gets offended!
Josh   Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:08 am GMT
I agree that it is most likely to be used by politicians who are campaigning. I agree with one political commentator whose name I don't recall who said "folks" sounds less dignified than "people" and that the use of it by politicians is a sign that less is now expected of the people. Needless to say, I don't think highly of it. I only use it as an informal term for my immediate family. It's mainly meant to convey informality as far as I can tell.
Wintereis   Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:24 am GMT
I think, in the context of politics, it represents only a part of a larger movement in the United States that has been happening for decades. It is rare that one hears a "great speech" anymore. It is something we discussed frequently in Rhetoric. It is not that less is expected from the people, but that the people are far less trusting of great ideological speeches having a great deal of familiarity with the less than ideal happenings in politics and a fear of what propaganda can bring. Once, one expected a Martin Luther King or F.D.R. speech, now those would be considered suspect. I think Obama has been the first politician in many years to move in that direction. Unfortunately, it seems that Obama is turning out to be just another politician. Surprise surprise. I'll still vote for him, but we are going to need something (and evidently not him) to rejuvenate this country’s political system soon before it completely erodes away or we will become a nation by the corporation, for the corporation, and of the corporation. That is, if we are not already there.
wintereis   Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:45 am GMT
Oops, it should be of the . . ., by the, and for the. . . Oh well. The sentiment is still the same: it’s not the folks that I’m worried about.
Damian   Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:40 am GMT
In British English at least the word "countryfolk" is used to refer to people who live in the country, ie rural areas, but it does sound a wee bit old fashioned. The peo...(sorry, folks) who live in rural areas now are quite different to those of several decades ago due to societal changes and to a much greater mobility of peo....(sorry, folks) today.

The word countryfolks makes them sound like a lot of simple, rustic, gormless bumkin peasants wearing smocks and chewing on blades of straw.
Earle   Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:30 pm GMT
I use them interchangeably, although I heard "folks" more when I was young (I'm 68). In southern Black dialect, the usage is "the folk," but that means they're referring only to other blacks...
Conor   Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:59 am GMT
Do all Americans spell the word "grey" as "gray", or has it become common only in recent decades as correct spelling has tended to be optional?
Guest   Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:10 am GMT
In America "gray" is the correct spelling, but I'm not sure that everyone spells it that way. Sometimes I use "grey" without realizing it.