“You guys â€“ 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 â€“ itâ€™s unclear which â€“ the prevailing omni-use of â€œguysâ€ to denote any collection of two or more humans is just plain out of control!
Letâ€™s examine. â€œGuyâ€ used to refer, casually, to a male person. As in, â€œI saw this guy standing in front of the 7/Eleven with a gun in his hand…â€ It clearly indicated male gender. Now, letâ€™s go back, oh say 25 years or so. When people in the public sector were referring â€“ in a nice way â€“ to a group of people, the term â€œfolksâ€ was extensively used. As in: â€œAre you folks ready to be seated?â€
Today the term â€œfolksâ€ sounds just too, well, â€œfolksyâ€ â€“ and dated â€“ and so those who would be hip, refuse to use it. â€œGuysâ€ seems to be the agreed-upon substitute for â€œfolks.â€ Are you with me so far?
Problemo. â€œFolksâ€ was gender neutral – â€œguysâ€ is not. â€œGuysâ€ are male. So either women are being accepted as just one of the guys/boys when referred to by â€œguysâ€ â€“ 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.)