The Problem With ‘Hey Guys’
In August, Joe Pinsker wrote about the greeting—and why many people are looking for a more inclusive alternative.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. The perfect word already exists: everyone.
New York, N.Y.
I grew up using guys to address any group. Now I’m the lone female on and a manager of a small, entirely male team. The first and only time I used guys to address them suddenly stripped the word of its gender-neutral meaning. I’m now on board with team y’all and everyone, depending on the day and the context.
Many Australians criticize the use of guys for its Americanness, meaning that y’all would probably not find favor here for mainstream use. I think it just feels too artificial for us to say, despite Australians’ being heavy consumers of American culture. (I have noticed some young Australians using y’all playfully on social media, but never in real life.)
Australian English and some dialects of British English have developed youse as a plural second-person pronoun: “Do youse wanna come round this arvo for a coldie?” Youse is generally considered uneducated and unprofessional, but it is a local solution to the problem addressed in the article.
I’d be interested to know how other parts of the Anglosphere address this problem.