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Addressing Mixed-Gender audiences


honcho
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I'm directing this primarily to FreshFluff, Tyro and QuothTheRaven, and not wanting to distract from somebody else's heartfelt

and seasonal thread ...

 

What is the current low key way to address a mixed-gender group of people?

 

I play in an LGBTQQ musical group and sometimes the conductor says "guys" even though the group is 55% non-male;

a previous conductor (male, and only recently out) was very careful to say "Folks" or "People".

 

Would the non-male members of the forum take any offense at all at being addressed as "Guys"?

 

Would you (plural) prefer one of the aforementioned gender-neutral salutations?

 

Would you even notice?

 

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? :)

 

Respectfully (and genuinely)

 

Honcho.

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What is the current low key way to address a mixed-gender group of people?

 

Southerners get it right with y'all.

 

In Pennsyltucky it's you'uns.

 

I've had success with "folks" (or "HEY!", depending on context).

 

YMMV. Depends where you are and what you're doing.

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...What is the current low key way to address a mixed-gender group of people?

 

I play in an LGBTQQ musical group and sometimes the conductor says "guys" even though the group is 55% non-male...

 

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? :)

 

Respectfully (and genuinely)

 

Honcho.

 

"People" is often used as a pejorative and will make the conductor sound like a whiny high school history teacher. "Folks" and "guys" are both commonly used.

 

Dictionary.com offers this definition:

 

noun

1. Informal. a man or boy; fellow: He's a nice guy.

 

 

2.Usually, guys. Informal. persons of either sex; people: Could one of you guys help me with this?

 

As for me, I sense a mountain in the making.

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Your making a mountain; Rule of thumb, address them the way that you would like to be address.

 

Of course, if it's a group of drag queens: "Bitches, Listen up!" works well. Just don't be surprised if they bat it back across the net. Do plan your retorts carefully ahead of time; them bitches can dish like you wouldn't believe.

 

http://www.advocate.com/sites/advocate.com/files/imagecache/stories/homo%20for%20the%20holidays_0.jpg

 

I'm directing this primarily to FreshFluff, Tyro and QuothTheRaven, and not wanting to distract from somebody else's heartfelt

and seasonal thread ...

 

What is the current low key way to address a mixed-gender group of people?

 

I play in an LGBTQQ musical group and sometimes the conductor says "guys" even though the group is 55% non-male;

a previous conductor (male, and only recently out) was very careful to say "Folks" or "People".

 

Would the non-male members of the forum take any offense at all at being addressed as "Guys"?

 

Would you (plural) prefer one of the aforementioned gender-neutral salutations?

 

Would you even notice?

 

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? :)

 

Respectfully (and genuinely)

 

Honcho.

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I don't consider it a mountain; gender is a fraught topic for many, especially those in the LBGTQIA (or QUILTBAG) community who aren't or don't identify as gay or lesbian. I've read some heartfelt and profane complaints about how exclusionary websites or other places that only give binary choices for gender when it's a required field come across to someone who's trans or otherwise gender-variant.

 

That said, I agree with dictionary.com; "guys" is a generic term as well as a term meaning "male-bodied or identifying people." I'm not offended by "guys" or "you guys," which are terms I use on occasion. And I agree that "you all" or "y'all" sounds ridiculous and/or pretentious when uttered outside the South or by a non-Southerner. "Hey you" (or a sharp whistle) works if the group is being rambunctious.

 

"People" and "humans" are great terms to use in writing, but they don't work as well as salutations.

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I've always cringed at "People" being used as a form of address. Probably from its use by a couple wonky teachers in high school.

 

I use 'guys' as gender-neutral because the corresponding term 'gals' seems so ... patronizing? diminutive? Reminds me of a bunch of 60's white-collar types referring to their secretaries. I've been curious as to whether women find it offensive.

 

I do like "y'all". A friend from the south sent me the distinction between "y'all" and "all y'all" once, but I've forgotten it. I think the latter is used for a bigger group?

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I've always cringed at "People" being used as a form of address. Probably from its use by a couple wonky teachers in high school.

 

I use 'guys' as gender-neutral because the corresponding term 'gals' seems so ... patronizing? diminutive? Reminds me of a bunch of 60's white-collar types referring to their secretaries. I've been curious as to whether women find it offensive.

 

I do like "y'all". A friend from the south sent me the distinction between "y'all" and "all y'all" once, but I've forgotten it. I think the latter is used for a bigger group?

"Y'all" is singular, "all y'all" is plural (a grammar rule, however, that is often disregarded).

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Interesting that this came up. I have noticed just recently the use of "guys" in on the increase, even in mixed groups. I was with my daughter a couple of days ago waiting to be seated. The waiter came up and said, "Guys, your table is ready." I took a some notice, and it went right by my daughter!

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I like to begin my public speaking with, "Friends, Texans, and countrymen, lend me your ears!" Only once has someone accused me of being redundant with the last two. For less formal settings, I like "y'all" or "all y'all" (the latter reserved for particularly large groups). I pity all y'all who can't use y'all.

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