Where I grew up, “y’all” is as everyday as the Appalachian Mountains that surround you like an embrace, but I now have family and friends who cringe a bit at that word. A few even occasionally use “yous,” and I try my best not to shudder, though I realize my own regionalisms probably have the same effect on their ears.
Honestly, it all comes down to the same problem: When you’re talking to a group of people, what’s the best word to use to make it clear you’re talking to a whole bunch of people? You’re not just talking to Rebecca. You’re talking to her entire department or her entire family.
Maybe you have the Goonies in the back of your head, with Sloth saying “Hey, you guys…” And, again, while it offers an answer, “you guys,” is still not quite right. While many utilize “guys” as a gender-neutral word, it still has a male connotation that doesn’t always sit well. More