Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm Fixin' to talk to y'all...all of y'all...

Howdy Folks,

For those of y'all used to earthquake news and whatever, sorry that today's post will instead explore the intersection of English, Ainglish and Texan, specifically the brilliance of "y'all". While those from the left and/or right coasts of the US, and, in fact, in Texas public schools, the English teachers explain the second person plural as being "you", despite the fact that the second person singular is also you.

Now, as a people not inclined to create unnecessary complexity, the second person plural became not you, but "y'all", a logical contraction of "you all" (I find it unlikely that it originated as "Your Awl", as Awl wasn't important in the great state until Spindletop). And, noticing that even the second person plural was vague in the case of greater than two other people, "all of y'all" came into existence, a form which I refer to as the "second person superlative plural". In this case, it is clear that the entire group being addressed is included. Now, no proper language explanation ever ends without examples, so, if addressing a football team:

"Y'all over here on the left. Y'all are offense. Y'all need to score."
"Y'all over here on the right. Y'all are defense. Y'all need to really stick 'em."
"Now, all of y'all go out there and kick some *. "

Questions? Comments? Random acts of literature? Feel free to post below....