Filed Under #Linguistics

  • Figuring 'you guys' out (Aug 25 2020)

    Contemporary “standard” English famously lacks a distinction between singular and plural in the second person, but almost as famously, “non-standard” varieties of English are forever innovating new second person plural pronouns—y’all, yinz, yous, and similar—or else simply retain singular thou. All of these moves address an ambiguity that does exist in the standard pronoun inventory, though one that frankly doesn’t cause as much confusion as we might have expected.