Following is an excerpt from this week’s column on AL.com. The link at the bottom takes you to the full column. I do that because AL.com owns the rights to this column and I can’t blog it in its entirety.
I admit it – I’m a y’all-aholic. I like to say it. I like to write it. “Y’all” is one of those things, like sweet tea and nanner pudding, that southerners own. Sure, we let other people borrow it from time-to-time but they can’t lay claim to it. There’s no question who holds the title.
Last week my y’all usage got the smackdown from someone commenting on one of my columns, who wrote: “Using “y’all’ does not equate to humor. It simply makes you sound less educated than you probably are.” In a follow-up comment, he wrote that “y’all” is not even a word, although you can see it right there on the page.
It was time to play hardball, y’all, and go on the defensive.
Sure, “y’all” can sound folksy, which is one reason I use it in my humor columns. It is more conversational and suggests more intimacy (not like that, y’all). It’s not like I’m writing a thesis, or some kind of treatise requiring words like heretofor or fiscal or farfegnugen.
Here are three very good reasons to use “y’all:”
- The English language has no second-person plural pronoun. Back in the day, and I mean way back, we had ye. So all those little signs you see at Halloween would say, “It’s fall, ye,” and it just doesn’t have the same ring.