Can I complain a little bit without sounding too bitchy? It’s about a book I just read where there’s a southern woman whose way of speaking really gets on my nerves. Well…it’s mostly one thing. Yes, the author dropped her “g’s” where the “ing” is used, and that’s pretty accurate for most southerners. I do that a lot. But here’s the problem. Southerners do not use “y’all” to speak of ONE person. “Y’all” is short for “you all”. It’s not short (or long) for “you”. I would not say to a friend “How long have y’all been waiting here?” or “I hope y’all feel better soon.” I would say the above phrases to more than one person, but not to one person. (If anyone from the south is reading this and disagrees, then you certainly speak differently than people do where I’m from. But the person in the book was from my area.) In the north, the same phrase is usually “you guys”. At least in northern Ohio where I have cousins who say “you guys”. I always teased them about that, saying “I’m not a guy”. I would say “y’all”, they would say “you guys”. But when referring to one person, we both said “you”. In the book I read, it sounded so awkward when that word was used referring only to the person she was speaking to. It drove me absolutely crazy.
Anyway, do things like that bother you? If you’re from a certain area, and the author portrays the speech in that area much differently than it really is, does it make you want to scream? I don’t usually mind when little things are wrong, but when they mess up our southern speech, it really bothers me.