Having been born in, and lived in, the South all my life. I’d like to correct a few million people on their usage and spelling of the word ‘y’all’.
It is spelled ‘Y’ALL’ and is short for the words ‘you all’. If you are spelling it YA’LL…you’re just wrong. Sorry. This is not my rule, but according to the following dictionaries…it is the accepted rule.
The Encarta World English Dictionary
Miriam-Webster Dictionary, 10th edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
Just one more little thing…Y’all is a second person plural pronoun. This means it is always refering to more than one person. I hear people sometimes use the word y’all when refering to 1 person…as in, “Where have y’all been?” instead of “Where have you been?”. WRONG. If you are talking to a group of your girlfriends, it would be perfectly correct to say, “Did y’all go to the mall without me?”…because you are talking to a group. [If your girlfriends DID go to the mall without you, find you some more considerate friends!]
Now I hope that I have enlightened y’all about the use of ‘y’all’. I share this with you because I would never want you to use this little word incorrectly, and that is just what us southern friends do for one another!
The preceeding is another in a series of public service announcements brought to you by Gatherings, a blog from the Deep South, y’all. [And, I’m talking to more than one person here].