"You Guys" When Addressing Male and Females

Discussion in 'Manners/Etiquette' started by Fatman, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Fatman

    Fatman Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    United States
    Old Town
    Anyone else (dating ourselves) bothered by the phrase "you guys" when addressing young men and young women?

    I know she is not known for her manners, but the First Lady's speech to young Irish dancers uses this phrase:

    Speaking at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, at a performance by of "Riverdance" by Irish youth,
    First Lady Michelle Obama thanked the crowd and said, "It is good to be home."

    "My goodness! (Applause.) That’s wonderful! You did it! Oh, my goodness. (Applause.)
    Thank you all so much. It is good to be home. Yes, indeed.
    You all are amazing -- and you're pretty good-looking, too. (Laughter.)," she said as she took the stage.

    "I want to thank all you for being here. You know, kids, you guys, young people -- you guys have my heart. And I said this in Belfast earlier -- it's so true. (Laughter.) Look, my girls know -- I can embarrass them and love them to death -- but young people, you guys move me in ways that you don’t even imagine. So it was so important for us that while we were here we got to do something with the young people here in Dublin. So thank you for such a warm welcome. You have made my family feel right at home in Ireland, and you guys are pretty awesome," she said.

    "I want you to take that away with you this summer. I want you to look at me and Barack and all these wonderful leaders and understand that we are you. We are just like you -- just kids who worked a little hard and dreamt pretty big, and got to do some wonderful things. "
  2. midnight2six

    midnight2six New Member

    I think she was just trying too hard. Personally it wouldn't offend me but it's a lazy generalization. Could do better.
  3. JerseyJohn

    JerseyJohn Super Member

    United States
    "You guys" seems to have become gender-neutral in the last two or three decades. I was against it in the 80's but I think the train has left the station on that one.
  4. Bjorn

    Bjorn Moderator

    Best eschewed IMO.
  5. zzdocxx

    zzdocxx Honors Member

    United States
    San Diego
    May be a regional/generational thing, best overlooked.
  6. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck Advanced Member

    United States
    Anyone knows the proper usage is "you'se guys." Or, when in Pittsburgh, "y'ins."
  7. dks202

    dks202 Super Member

    United States
    San Antonio
    Should have been proper South Texas "y'all" . I never understood girls calling each other "guys" or "you guys"/
  8. RM Bantista

    RM Bantista Senior Member

    United States
    New Mexico
    Jersey John has the correct attitude on this to my mind. One may blame 'The Electric Company' of Public Television if necessary to assign tipping points, but one had fond moments watching the show with my children, from Rita Moreno's call to assembly, "Hey, you guys," until Easy Reader made his appearance and brightened my day, a great pleasure and certainly a better use of public airways than many another enterprise.
    'Guys' in context meaning persons one supposes, sentient beings of inherent worthiness, and probably it will do no harm to admit women and children to number among the elect.
    But do as thou wilt is the the whole of the law,
  9. Mr. Grenxa

    Mr. Grenxa Starting Member

    Yup, 'guys', in the colloquial usage, is now indeed just 'people' and not just 'men' (and can also be any set of objects/creatures if you wish--as the above poster already mentioned).

    I find it very funny though (in the context of this forum) that one of its (non-colloquial, but mostly obsolete in today's speech) meanings is a poorly/grotesquely/eccentrically dressed person.
  10. Anthony Jordan

    Anthony Jordan Super Member

    Rhonda Cynon Taff
    My daughter and her 9 year-old peer group in their girls' school all seem to do it in spite of all our discouragements!

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