'Guys'..

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'Guys'..

Postby Kevin R » 18 Nov 2014, 18:18

Is anyone else simply fed up to the back teeth with the ubiquity of this idle and inane Americanism? I think I loathe it more than being addressed perpetually as 'mate' by a complete stranger - as if the whole of British society was one huge naval review...

Shown to a seat in a restaurant (Wife and yours truly).. "Table for two, no problem, this way guys.." (why would it be a 'problem' just to sit at a table?)

Paying at a small shop checkout - "Thanks guys.."

Multiple interview on television - " Thanks you guys, that was brilliant.."

Friends go on in cars - "You guys are going with Paul in his car.. yeah..?" (obligatory interrogative lift).

Charity mugger on street - "Hi guys.. can I talk to you for a mome..."

.."No, you cannot, and my wife is not a guy, she is not even a Fawkes, even though we do reside in his place of birth.."

Cah! If I hear it once more I think I shall not be responsible for my responses..
Kevin R
 
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Re: 'Guys'..

Postby Nathan » 18 Nov 2014, 19:15

Haha!

I'd feel a bit self-conscious about addressing somebody as "guy" because I just think the word sounds a bit false when said in an English accent, same as with "Hi" instead of "Hello". Sometimes it's hard to know which other word to use though when, for example, "that *person* over there" would sound too stilted compared to "that guy over there".

I actually prefer a lot of American English because I think it sounds more expressive, but I only prefer it when spoken naturally by an American, not an English person putting it on.

This is how I would phrase your five sentences:

"Table for two, no problem, if you could come this way please..." - "Guys" sounds much too familiar in this context.

"Thanks very much" - All that is needed.

"Thank you guys, that was brilliant" - I wouldn't have a problem with saying "guys" in this context. (Do you mean a TV interview as in a chat show?) Just "thank you" or "thank you very much" sounds too impersonal, but I can't think of another word to use instead that would keep the friendly tone.

"You guys are going with Paul in his car, is that OK?" - "You're going with Paul" makes it unclear whether we are talking singular or plural, so I'd play it safe and use "guys" here to make sure I was understood. If I were referring to two people though I would say "You two" to avoid using the word.

"Excuse me, could I talk to you for a mome..." - I would certainly respond better to a more polite "Excuse me", and "could I" rather than "can I", though I don't know how typical I am in that respect.
Nathan
 
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Re: 'Guys'..

Postby Andrea » 19 Nov 2014, 17:34

Hi Kevin, whilst I respect your opinions I'm afraid I do use the term "guys" a lot, but only to close friends. I am an American and I say things such as, "I love you guys!". If there is a male and female present, it would be "guys" because I think the male dominates the gender. If there were two females, I'd say, "gals". I would not use either word to customers, employees, or strangers.
Andrea
 
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Re: 'Guys'..

Postby Gavin » 19 Nov 2014, 18:11

I use "guys" sometimes too, but slightly ironically - I also parody "uptalk" among close friends too! Terrible if people think I mean it for real ;)

While Americanisms are to be expected from Americans, I can understand Kevin's frustration with the amount that have now made their way into British English, whereby perfectly good words have been replaced just so that people can try to seem trendy and progressive. For example: "I'm good".
Gavin
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Re: 'Guys'..

Postby Yessica » 21 Nov 2014, 10:57

Nathan wrote:I'd feel a bit self-conscious about addressing somebody as "guy" because I just think the word sounds a bit false when said in an English accent, same as with "Hi" instead of "Hello". Sometimes it's hard to know which other word to use though when, for example, "that *person* over there" would sound too stilted compared to "that guy over there".


How would
"That gentleman/gent over there"
in a formal situation or
"That man over there"
in a less formal situation feel?
Yessica
 
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