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Posted: 09 August 2007 02:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Hmmmm . . . I’d say ‘bird’ is roughly equivalent in level of casuality and contemporary with ‘bloke’. But while men may refer to each other as blokes (’Met this bloke in the pub’) I’m not sure women would refer to each other as birds in the same way. ‘Alright my bird’ is used in this part of the UK (South West) by women to each other but it’s an affectionate greeting rather than a reference. Most women would find being referred to as ‘bird’ - outside friendly jokey circumstances - as decidedly patronising.

So, can’t really think of anything equivalent at the moment, I’ll keep cogitating.

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Posted: 09 August 2007 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Flynn, interesting to hear bird is still in use especially by females.
Is it true to say that if I said “I was talking to this guy in a bar” Americans and Britons alike would all assume I was referring to a man?

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Posted: 11 August 2007 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Americans would for sure.

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Posted: 11 August 2007 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I’ve been rolling the whole “guy” thing around in my mind and I believe the only time it would be used to include females is in the vocative.  I don’t think anyone would say, “I went out for a few beers with the guys last night,” if there were women in the group even if that same person might have said last night, “Hey, guys, let’s go out for a few beers.”

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Posted: 12 August 2007 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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And is, “Girl, I love those sandals” only a female African-American usage?

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Posted: 14 August 2007 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Bede - I think you’d find ‘girl’ used in the same way amongst young black British women and (probably by imitation) by some young white British women.

As for Faldage’s comment I would agree with that being true in the UK as well

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Posted: 14 August 2007 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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And is, “Girl, I love those sandals” only a female African-American usage?

I presume it is part of his shtick but Craig Ferguson uses “girl” in this manner in his monologue. I also presume that slang and shtick are sleeping together more often than not so if Ferguson continues to be popular the usage may spread.

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Posted: 14 August 2007 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I love that you asked this question, because, yes, I (49-year-old female) find it very offensive when someone includes me in a collective, “Hey, you guys!” reference.  It’s a pathetic, falsely familiar and juvenile way of addressing someone, I think.  I’m not a guy, I don’t want to be a guy, I don’t want to be one of the guys.  Being female is complicated enough, thank you very much, a challenge sufficient for a lifetime, without feeling called upon to surge through entirely into another gender’s hormonal horizons.  For that matter, I don’t like calling men guys, either.  The word makes them sound like pimply 20-year-olds in ugly polyester shirts chugging cheap beer and eating pizza in a dorm room.  For women:  Ladies.  For men:  Gentlemen.  For both together:  Ladies and Gentlemen.  Mind you, these words aren’t perfect, but at least they have some dignity.  At least, so say I.

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Posted: 14 August 2007 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Familiarity isn’t a function of language. I have close friends that I’ve known for forty years. It isn’t possible for our familiarity to be false under any circumstances.

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Posted: 15 August 2007 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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For women:  Ladies.  For men:  Gentlemen.  For both together:  Ladies and Gentlemen.  Mind you, these words aren’t perfect, but at least they have some dignity.  At least, so say I.

If I were to address a room of people at work* as “Ladies and Gentlemen” I would have holes bored through me from the stares I would get. “Guys” wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.

Social context is everything in cases like this. There are places where its appropriate and places where it isn’t. There is no one-size-fits-all form of address for mixed-gender crowds.

That said, Jampa isn’t the only woman I’ve encountered to have this objection to “guys” used to address mixed gender crowds. In each case, however, the objection has come from a woman in her forties or older. It may be a generational objection.

*I work in Silicon Valley, which is a very informal work environment. Some 20-year-olds, but mostly 30-40-year-olds. Few are pimply and polyester shirts are no where to be seen. (T-shirts do abound, however.) No beer at work (denizens of Silicon Valley are informal, but are the polar opposite of slackers), but if there were beer wouldn’t be the cheap stuff.

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Posted: 15 August 2007 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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It may be a generational objection

I’ve absolutely no objection to being included with “you guys”.  (In fact I’m quite flattered, truth be told.  Maybe I’m so old that I’ve got over the age hurdle.)

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