Thursday, January 26, 2012

hey you guys!

(I love the goonies)

EcoGeoFemme had a post a few days ago discussing (among other things) the issue of how to address a group of women or a mixed group of people.

It made me think... how do I refer to a group of women in a professional setting? I tend to use "ladies" if it's a group of women and "folks" for a mixed group or for an indeterminate mass of people. If I'm trying to get the attention of a boisterous group, I tend to bang on a table/nearby flat surface and yell... what do I yell? I think, "hey, everybody!", but I also tend to point at the person who is being the loudest/who is talking and ignoring me and call them out by name.

If I'm with a group of friends, I'll use "guys" to address them, even if it's an entirely female group. When I was visited England in high school and yelled, "hey guys" to get the attention of a bunch of female friends, I was flummoxed when I was scolded by someone who told me that we were young ladies. To me, "guys" is the casual way to address any group of people, and I have to consciously choose another term. "Ladies" sounds so formal to my ears.

I do tend to say "girls" when I refer to a group of young women or immature women, but I also refer to especially young/immature/poorly behaved men as "boys". I think I am a rarity in this, though.

1 comment:

Marciepooh said...

Ladies/folks are both good ones, in my opinion. But here in the South we have the best group address "all y'all" (as you probably know 'y'all' is actually singular in the Southeast US), as in "all y'all hush up and listen!" or "all y'all chip in or I'll order the cheap beer!"