Y'all Don't Respect Me

Using Y'all.

By Colleen's Contributor, The Grammar Goddess of Eve

Is “Y’all” a Real Word?

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

An ongoing debate in my household, and other “blended” families (part Yankee/part Dixie) is whether or not y’all is a real word. At home I stand alone in the term’s defense as bona fide, maintaining that it is a grammatically correct contraction for “you all.”

Merriam-Webster Online defines “y’all” as a variant of “you all,” yet many people still insist that it is not a real word.

What do you think?

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Junie Brown January 31, 2012 at 06:14 PM
My college English professor used y'all as an example for forming contractions. The word follows the rule precisely (running two words together, dropping some letter in the pronunciation and inserting an apostrophe to replace the dropped letters). Y'all is as accurate a contraction as can't or won't and the fact that it is used regionally makes no difference.
Anthony Socci January 31, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Y'all are absolutely correct, Colleen. I have a Spanish learning CD and the pronouns, vosotros and ustedes are given for y'all, so y'all stick to your guns.
Blue Streak February 02, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Ha ha! Thanks Anthony and all y'all.
Colleen Walsh Fong February 02, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Yes, thank you Anthony and all commenters. And thank you to the Grammar Goddess of Eve for raising the grammatical question.
Tammy Osier February 05, 2012 at 12:26 AM
It is in the south! People up north have their little piccadillos and they're way worse that ours. Let's see...in the faaaaar north, you have the word "out' and it's pronounced "ooout - long oo's". Midwest for you all is instead, "youin's", or "Yens" for short. Uh...oh yeah, "youts", and You'se'. I could go on. At least ya'll has two real words that are put together as a real part of speech by an apostrophe. Southern ladies have been charming folks with this darling little word for years. Otherwise, anyone that would complain about it, in the immortal words of one of the south's best southern gentlemen, Lewis Grizzard, "Delta is ready when you (ya'll) are!"


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