I Will Die On This Hill: ‘Y’all’ Is Proper English
“I like good strong words that mean something…”
― Little Women
The most beautiful aspect of the English language is that it's always evolving, and always changing. On average, we add over 1,000 new words a year.
For example, I happen to be hangry (the irrational anger that pops up with hunger) right now, so if you disagree with me, I shall yeet (forcibly throw) you into the sun.
It's not just slang that gets added every year. Technical terms, newly classified organisms, and all kinds of useful things pop up as new words. And so much yesteryear slang is just regular words now. In the classic novel Little Women, Meg chides Jo for using slang words like "rascals."
So this brings me all the way around to y'all. Y'all is beyond slang. It's an absolutely necessary word to make our language work. Otherwise, English does not have a modern second-person plural. Technically, the only 'proper' second person plurals are words like 'thee.' If you go around using 'thee,' then I hope you have a really wonderful time at your next LARPing event.
There's also connotation to consider if the syntax issue isn't your thing. There's no more sun-shining, friendly, or inclusive word around. It's gender non-specific, so that alleviates some awkwardness, and it feels so welcoming. Y'all is a beautiful, useful word, a word that any English-speaking person should use, and use often.
In case you're wondering, as a citizen of the great nation of Texas, I do also throw my support to any y'all-based language contraptions we've managed to concoct over the years, with 'y'all'd've' being my absolute favorite. Because who has the time to say 'you all would have'? It also looks like the word equivalent of the human centipede, so it gets points for artistry as well.
So, y'all better be proud of our word y'all. Y'all hear?
13 Favorite Texas Craft Beers