A language lesson

Y’all is singular. All y’all is plural. All y’all’s is plural possessive.

Kinky Friedman.

19 thoughts on “A language lesson”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    dearieme – “OK. Tell us the dative and ablative, then.”

    I gave y’all a good whippin’ last week. Don’t make me do it again.

    English does not have an ablative. Anyone who tells you otherwise pulled that out of y’all’s ar$e.

  2. Y’all, like other regional variations such as yinz, covers all possible forms. Only the ivory tower elites use things like dative and ablative anyway.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Liberal Yank – “Only the ivory tower elites use things like dative and ablative anyway.”

    That, Sir, is a slander up with which I will no longer put.

  4. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Standard English has lost the distinction between “this”, “that” and “that one over there”. It’s still around (just) in the form of “yonder” and archaic “yon”. The difference exists in Spanish, as well: este tipo (this guy); ese tipo (that guy); aquel tipo (that guy over there).

  5. Off-topic: advice on protecting your dog from people who deliberately try to poison him at the local park?

    I’ve just had to rush Wanwan to the vet’s as they were closing up for the night, and get him on the IV drip. It’s probably rat poison which means phosphorous which is soluble which means buckets of water… but anything else?

    I’ve already started getting the word out to warn other people with dogs and toddlers who use the park.

    And the group of old people who sit in the approximate location where he was when I spotted him eating something… not sure whether to try to talk to them and find out which one it was, or just smash all their wrinkly old grapes in with a baseball bat.

  6. Philip Scott Thomas

    Lord knows I’ve been trying to tell my work colleagues this for long enough, when they mock my accent.

    Anyway, FWIW, American Southern to Geordie translation:
    Y’all = You
    All Y’All = Youse

  7. I speak 3 languages reasonably well and 2 more poorly but I take great joy in the obsessive flexibility of English.

  8. @Fred Z

    And English manages to do it all without all the various “-ives” and inflections that many other languages need.

    Although that doesn’t stop conventional linguists trying to impose terminology more suited to f*cking Latin on it.

    German inflected beaulocks: “Der Mann, dem ich den Tisch gegeben habe”. Strict English: “The man, to whom I gave the table”, or more normally “the man who I gave the table to”. Note how easily we can say the same thing without any inflection that requires 3 different forms of the masculine definite article in three different cases in German.

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