Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Come on folks!

I have a bee in my bonnet about being addressed as ‘one of the guys’; whether by email or in a group, it’s always some form of ‘hi guys’ or ‘you guys’. I know it sounds kind of fun and friendly, and Oxford Dictionaries says it can also mean ‘[p]eople of either sex’ but let’s be honest, a ‘guy’ just like its namesake ‘Guy Fawkes’ is just ‘[a] man’. And just like ‘man’, also of dubious dual-meaning (see my post ‘Man, the gender-neutral?’), it doesn’t refer to ‘woman’.

I like inclusive terms as much as the next guy, which is why I hate ‘guys’. And anyway, it’s not like we don’t have a choice. What’s wrong with all the other terms out there? ‘Peeps’ is a good contender, and has no conflicting definitions; it simply stands for ‘[p]eople (often used to refer to a person’s friends or associates)’. Or how about the good old-fashioned ‘folks’? It’s equally nice and straightforward, meaning ‘[p]eople in general’. Or if you don’t like those, why not make up your own term? It’s your language, as much as the next gal’s.

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