atw: Re: Youse

Charles, many thanks for your comments, but my experiences differ, at least
in part, from yours. 

 

I spent a bit of time around the Temple Bar area of Dublin, and in the cafes
surrounding Dublin's Trinity College, and I heard "youse" quite often. Often
enough to make to stop and listen and ponder. I also heard it in Kilkenny.
Perhaps it is not so common elsewhere in Ireland, or perhaps our
chronologies are different. (My exposure to Irish English occurred in 2006.
Might it be that we are talking about quite different times?)

 

I have not been to Liverpool, but I have met scores of Liverpudlians and in
many countries. Their frequent, and unselfconscious, use of "youse" led me
to think that it must be quite common in their homeland.

 

I am reinforced in my generalisations by the observations of other
language-watchers. For example, the second edition of Pocket Fowler's Modern
English Usage, published by Oxford University Press in 2008, has this to
say:

 

"yous, youse are regional and dialectal forms of you (plural). In Britain
they are associated especially with the speech of Glasgow and Liverpool, and
they occur in American, Australian, and New Zealand literature ." (p. 663).

 

And in The Language Wars: A History  of Proper English (John, Murray, 2011),
Henry Hitches writes:

 

"Today's yous, widely heard in Ireland, and youse, heard on Merseyside [that
is, in and around Liverpool] and in Australia, revive and make explicit the
difference between the plural you and the singular (p. 41)."

 

You mention the prevalence of youse in  Lancashire. Lancashire happens to
abut Merseyside, so I'm not surprised that you heard "youse" in Lancashire
if it was common in Liverpool.

 

I was intrigued to read in Pam Peters's The Cambridge Guide to Australian
English Usage (2007, p. 878) that yous made it into the Oxford Dictionary in
1989, some 16 years before it made it into The Macquarie Dictionary. And you
will also see it in Webster's, the bible of American English.

 

As I predicted in earlier austechwriter threads, "youse" is on the march. It
will probably be standard English in 100 years. You might as well get used
to it. Long may it live.

 

Cheers

 

Geoffrey Marnell

Principal Consultant

Abelard Consulting Pty Ltd 

P: 03 9596 3456

M: 0419 574 668

F: 03 9596 3625

W: www.abelard.com.au

 

-----Original Message-----
From: austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Charles Boyle
Sent: Tuesday, 10 January 2012 4:23 PM
To: austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: atw: Re: Youse

 

Geoffrey,

I'd slightly disagree there, having been brought up in Ireland and then in
small town between Liverpool and Manchester, and subsequently working in
both places later on in life, I'll offer the following observations.

- "Youse" was standard across Lancashire, regardless of heritage, it was
just a common part of the local vernacular and nobody (except my Aunt from
London) ever noticed using it.

- I've never heard "Youse" in Ireland, again it could be a regional thing
(can't say I was in every county), but the most common Dublin/Kildare
reference I heard was "Yer" ... "it's yer man over there"

"yerall gobshites"

 

Cheers,

 

Charlie.

 

-----Original Message-----

From:  <mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

 <mailto:[mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]>
[mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Geoffrey

Sent: Tuesday, 10 January 2012 6:57 AM

To:  <mailto:austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: atw: Re: Youse

 

Daryl

 

"youse" has been in the Macquarie for a while now. However, the current
online version (updated every year) still lists it as "non-standard".

You will find it much more prevalent in Irish and Liverpudlian English than
in Australian English. There it is not considered poor or lower-class usage.

It's a useful word, if only we all could get over our prejudices. 

 

Perhaps a little poem I dashed off about "youse" might lighten our attitude
towards it:  <http://www.abelard.com.au/words-2-2.pdf>
http://www.abelard.com.au/words-2-2.pdf and jump to page 19.

 

Cheers

 

Geoffrey Marnell

Principal Consultant

Abelard Consulting Pty Ltd

P: 03 9596 3456

M: 0419 574 668

F: 03 9596 3625

W:  <http://www.abelard.com.au> www.abelard.com.au

 

 

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