Southern Translation

Randall M. Tidmore church at
Thu Oct 15 10:40:00 EDT 1998

<<Someone else challenged me on this in email. When I first moved to the
South, I was firmly convinced that y'all was always plural. Among well
educated Southerners, I think it generally is. However, I do prison
ministry, and among prisoners in North Carolina, it is not at all unusual
to hear y'all used as a singular form.>>

I knew growing up in the South would come in handy someday <grin>. I didn't
realize it might in Greek. In my classes, we use you and you all.

I can understand how a "Yankee" (:þ might get the idea we mean just one when
we say "y'all." We may only be speaking to one person, but we never mean
just that one person. What we mean depends on the situation. It may mean you
and your family. It may mean you and the people from your state, area,
church, race, etc. It never means just one person...not the way I grew up
using it. I grew up in Texas and S.E. Oklahoma (close to Arkansas and
Louisiana). (I never thought I would use that as credentials.)

My two bits worth (anyone know how much that is?)

Randall (Randy) M. Tidmore
A Christian
A member of the non-denominational church of Christ
"Speaking the truth in love."
church at
hermano at

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