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#1 Edited by mlarrabee (3058 posts) -

About a month ago, a friend and I were speaking with a lady at a local museum. My friend used the word "guys" to reference the lady, her husband, and their friend as a group. The lady took slight offense at this and pressed the point home for a minute that she was most certainly a woman. My friend is pretty soft-spoken, so I threw in an apologetic chuckle about how I often use "guys" to refer to multi-sex groups.

Do you reference and address groups comprising both sexes as "guys"? Do you have another term you prefer?

Are you offended or do you dislike when you're automatically referred to as a "guy" when in a group?

Just for the record, I think the English language desperately needs a gender-neutral way to refer to a singular third party, and another for plural second party address.

#2 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Up in the North of England we can refer to a group of people as "yous". It's surprisingly effective.

"Haway yous, let's gan" - Come on you people, let us depart.

#3 Posted by hanktherapper (384 posts) -

I try not to, but most people use "guys" when referring to a group. I've even seen women do it to other women. Anita Sarkeesian will soon start a new video series about sexism tropes in everyday conversations.

#5 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (3777 posts) -

I say "y'all". Try that.

#6 Edited by cmblasko (1343 posts) -

She sounds like a real fun person to be around.

I refer to groups of everything and anything as "guys." Men, women, bananas, you name it. I think someone who gets sincerely offended at something like that is either elderly and has a completely different mentality about it (which is understandable), really oversensitive, or just trying to grandstand.

I say "y'all". Try that.

That's fun, too.

#7 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2030 posts) -

I say ya'll and guys. Don't see a problem with either and haven't been bothered by it.

#8 Posted by SunBroZak (1344 posts) -

Yeah, I use "guys" to refer to a group of mixed genders. I don't use the word "guy" when referring to a male, so it's never really crossed my mind as to whether or not I should use the word in that context. Nobody has ever got offended, so no harm done.

#9 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

#10 Posted by OurSin_360 (947 posts) -

"Folks" but in some places you can get shot for it though.....

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

It doesn't translate terribly well, but in my native language, we have a gender neutral term for a group of people.

#12 Posted by Huey2k2 (492 posts) -

I use "guys" as a term to describe a group of people all the time.

Honestly I feel that anyone who would be offended by that is far too sensitive for their own good. Obviously I am not suggesting that women are men, getting offended by that to me is the same as getting offended by terms like man hole. It's just silly.

#13 Edited by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4284 posts) -

Ive been saying "guys" when I address a bunch of people but Im trying to change that. Ive taken up "yall", but I feel like Im forcing it when I say it. Surely, there has to be something better.

#14 Posted by Brendan (8124 posts) -

I use that term all the time in a casual setting without thinking about it. In fact, I often use it when referring to a group of multiple women.

#15 Posted by CaptainObvious (3000 posts) -

You guys.

#16 Posted by wemibelec90 (1828 posts) -

I do it out of reflex sometimes. One of those various verbal mistakes I'm trying to correct myself of. I know it really isn't that offensive, but I like to be exacting in my speech.

#17 Posted by csl316 (9421 posts) -

People I know, I'll use guys. People I don't know too well, I'll just say "everyone."

#18 Edited by Gamer_152 (14109 posts) -

I've used the term "guys" a lot to refer to both men and women, but I'm trying to use it less because there is obviously a very masculine element to it. I just wish there was a way better word to casually refer to a group of people, regardless of their gender.

Moderator
#19 Posted by Jimbo (9983 posts) -

Oh I'm so sorry, madam! I couldn't tell because of your beard.

#20 Edited by TyCobb (1973 posts) -

In Spanish, you can have 99 females, but once a male is in that group the term automatically becomes the masculine form.

That's one of the few things I remember after 3 years of it.

#21 Posted by DeathByWaffle (652 posts) -

I definitely use "you guys" as a unisex term. I've never really had anyone become offended by it, at least to my knowledge.

#22 Posted by UnlimitedSheep (33 posts) -

Woah...I never realized that people found this offensive, even as a minor offense. I hate to call out gender on the internet, but I and my closest circle of friends are all female, and we always address each other as "guys," as in "where do you guys want to go to lunch?" or "come on guys, we're going to be late!" Our families all use it the same way too.

I guess it doesn't make much sense when I think about it now, but I never thought the word "guys" when used that way was very masculine at all. It was just a fast way of addressing everyone in the group.

It seems like such a small thing to be offended about, or for people to have to feel self-conscious for saying...but then, I'm rarely offended by anything that most people seem to deem sexist, so maybe I'm insensitive to the issue.

#23 Edited by JadeGL (962 posts) -

I would use the term "guys" informally with no issues. I am a lady and I use it all the time and have never had an issue with it.

However, in a setting where I don't know people and it's maybe more formal versus a casual setting? I may amend my terminology according.

Moderator Online
#24 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1894 posts) -

@csl316 said:

People I know, I'll use guys. People I don't know too well, I'll just say "everyone."

Or "everybody."

#25 Posted by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

Yeah totally. Hell, I even say it to a group of girls, it's just a reflex at this point.

#26 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

"Duder" is gender-neutral. Refer to groups as "duders" and you're cool.

I also say "yo" and "yos" though I guess the former can be both singular and plural.

#27 Posted by Fallen189 (5052 posts) -

Who gives a flying fuck? This kind of thing is getting WAY out of control nowadays. I miss being able to say what I want.

#28 Posted by YOU_DIED (703 posts) -

Really surprised someone would get offended by that, try y'all in the future

#29 Posted by Fallen189 (5052 posts) -

Who gives a flying fuck? This kind of thing is getting WAY out of control nowadays. I miss being able to say what I want.

#30 Posted by evanbower (1216 posts) -

It doesn't translate terribly well, but in my native language, we have a gender neutral term for a group of people.

Will someone please help him.

#31 Posted by Quarters (1859 posts) -

Yeah, I totally address multi-gender group as "guys".

#33 Edited by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

It doesn't translate terribly well, but in my native language, we have a gender neutral term for a group of people.

Will someone please help him.

I think the word he's speaking of most closely translates to:

#34 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5980 posts) -

I'm from the south, so I've always said "Ya'll."

#35 Edited by Demoskinos (15133 posts) -

Yeah, cause I think that is sort of absurd to get offended by that?

#36 Edited by Little_Socrates (5711 posts) -

I do say that sometimes, but I often feel that it's a goofy thing to say revealing that I don't hang out in mixed groups often enough.

#37 Posted by Little_Socrates (5711 posts) -

I do say that sometimes, but I often feel that it's a goofy thing to say revealing that I don't hang out in mixed groups often enough.

#38 Posted by wjb (1696 posts) -

I say it all the time and no one speaks up. I've had conversations with women about this and none of them care. It's like how there's a casual reference for a man in "guy," but not really one for a woman. No one says "gal" and certainly not "doll." It's "boys and girls" and then "guys and girls."

Now being a man and calling a group of women, "ladies." Oh boy.

#39 Posted by XChairmanDrekX (310 posts) -

Hell, I'll use "Hey guys!" even if I'm addressing a group of girls. "Hey ladies" just seems really fucking weird.

I mean, I use it so often that gender doesn't even play into it at all.

#40 Posted by Frumpa (100 posts) -

Its guys for both sexes here in Aus. Whenever I call the women at work "ladies", without fail one at least will laugh and say "theres no ladies here!". I have been told off for calling guildies in WoW guys, so now tend to just say "folks". Y'all doesnt work down here. ;)

#41 Posted by believer258 (12182 posts) -

I'm from the south, so I've always said "Ya'll."

I have always written it out as "y'all", but yes this is how I refer to groups.

@canteu said:

Up in the North of England we can refer to a group of people as "yous". It's surprisingly effective.

"Haway yous, let's gan" - Come on you people, let us depart.

Wow, I'm glad you translated that, I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

#42 Posted by Brians (1465 posts) -

I say guys, or everyone,

Variety is the spice of life

#43 Edited by Hamst3r (4562 posts) -

Everyone is guys. Everyone is dudes.

Everyone that refuses to accept this when addressed as such is ignored henceforth.

#44 Posted by ShaggE (6698 posts) -

@hamst3r said:

Everyone is guys. Everyone is dudes.

Everyone that refuses to accept this when addressed as such is ignored henceforth.

Once again, Goodburger proves to be the guiding light for our culture.

#45 Edited by Disaya (290 posts) -

I try not to but I usually do out of habit. I remember a few years ago in my shop class my teacher was showing us how to use one of the machines and he used "you guys", I think he felt bad or something because half the group were women and he went on to explain that he knew we were women but that's how is used to talking. I don't get offended when people say it but if she doesn't like it then eh she doesn't like it, I can see why it would upset her.

#46 Edited by GorillaMoPena (2333 posts) -

I do it all the time, that is a weird thing to get offended by. I don't understand that at all

#47 Posted by Chop (1998 posts) -

I do it all the time. If I ever ran into someone who seriously cared, I'd punch them in the face. How can you possibly be that fucking uptight?

#48 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@evanbower said:

@video_game_king said:

It doesn't translate terribly well, but in my native language, we have a gender neutral term for a group of people.

Will someone please help him.

I think the word he's speaking of most closely translates to:

A.) No.

B.) The picture's gone when I quote you.

C.) How would you even know? I'm pretty sure you don't speak my language.

#49 Posted by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

@evanbower said:

@video_game_king said:

It doesn't translate terribly well, but in my native language, we have a gender neutral term for a group of people.

Will someone please help him.

I think the word he's speaking of most closely translates to:

A.) No.

B.) The picture's gone when I quote you.

C.) How would you even know? I'm pretty sure you don't speak my language.

A) Are you sure?

B) Yeah that's odd. Not the first time I've noticed, it's been happening for a while on this site.

C) I got my sources. I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy.

#50 Edited by MentalDisruption (1670 posts) -

I use guys, but mainly because there is no other word that really hits that sweet spot. I sometimes say people or everyone, but if theres only two or three people it feels off. Those feels like words best reserved for crowds. I could say y'all or folk, but I feel like that is more of a southerner or country thing and I'm neither. The only time I don't really use guys is if its a group of all women. Then I'll go with ladies. Can't use ladies if there's one guy in the mix though. Weird how I don't feel that way about using guys, but whatever.