Mr. Bill Davis is correct in that the almost universal use in our country of “you guys,” as a plural for any- and everyone who is being addressed, is regrettable. However, there is an “explanation” which may help to soothe our indignation somewhat, although this is not offered as a defense.
Unlike many other familiar languages one might study, the English language plural for “you” is the same as the singular word “you.” While it is correct for a coach, when addressing his women’s softball team, to say “we expect you to play your very best in this crucial game …” we are more likely to hear “we expect you guys to play your very best, etc.”
In earlier years in New York, we heard “youse,” in Tennessee it was “you-uns,” and in the general South, “y’all.” But now, those territorial “you” plurals have given way to the more convenient and multipurpose “you guys.”
I don’t think there is any disrespect intended, but we tip extra for servers who address my husband and me as “y’all”!
CHARLOTTE M. COPELAND