“You guys – hey, you guys. Have a good one, guys.”
Language abuse in America is becoming more prominant than Nancy Pelosi’s bosom.
Either the revenge of machismo, or the triumph of feminism – it’s unclear which – the prevailing omni-use of “guys” to denote any collection of two or more humans is just plain out of control!
Let’s examine. “Guy” used to refer, casually, to a male person. As in, “I saw this guy standing in front of the 7/Eleven with a gun in his hand…” It clearly indicated male gender. Now, let’s go back, oh say 25 years or so. When people in the public sector were referring – in a nice way – to a group of people, the term “folks” was extensively used. As in: “Are you folks ready to be seated?”
Today the term “folks” sounds just too, well, “folksy” – and dated – and so those who would be hip, refuse to use it. “Guys” seems to be the agreed-upon substitute for “folks.” Are you with me so far?
Problemo. “Folks” was gender neutral – “guys” is not. “Guys” are male. So either women are being accepted as just one of the guys/boys when referred to by “guys” – or, and this is a dark possibility, they are being overlooked as female and tarred with the very brush they attempted to wield during the feminist golden age of the 70s.
Either way this is an unhappy situation. So what can we do? (Don’t worry, I have some ideas – but they’ll wait until I hear from YOU.)