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All y'all listen up now, hear?

I am reviewing agent calls at work today.

Typically, I don't pay a lot of attention to the little stuff because I. Don't. Care. AHT does not concern me. Proper openings/closings? Whatever. Upselling? Pft. Like the phone agents aren't already juggling enough at minimal pay without trying to hawk products on top of what they already do.

But sometimes? Sometimes I want to reach through the phone and smack them.


Because "ya'll" is not a real word! Seriously dude, you cannot use that shit in a professional email! There are words that can be used in common speech, but NOT in writing. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Batman!?


I just felt the need to share my pain. If I have to suffer through this, then so do all of you.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
Well, even as an English teacher, I do use not only "y'all," but "all y'all" in verbal conversation. But not, as you say, in writing, or in a business communication. Proper register, and all that.

I tend to use the phrases with malice aforethought. I say "Now all y'all get out your homework," so that when I am taking a sentence from a student and writing it on the board, and I change the vernacular into proper English, and a student complains of my changing his or her words into something else, I have an example.

"Now, all y'all know I do say "y'all" a lot, right?" Nods from around the room. "Yet, y'all don't see me WRITE "y'all" on the board or in formal sentences. It isn't business English, or the way to talk to bankers, or courts, or someone you want to give you a job."

This way, students don't think I'm "above" them, because I'm using everyday talk, but writing more formally, and the lesson sticks better.

Would that your agents had learned the same.
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)

I'm totally on board with, and actually get a kick out of, saying ya'll in everyday vernacular because generally, Canucks just don't know how to take it when someone who DOESN'T have a Southern-ish accent and uses "ya'll". It cracks me up.

But, as you say - not in a job setting, for goodness sake! That was pushing the boundaries of ludicrous.
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Yes, this! As a linguist, I get Very Serious about the difference between what's "allowed" in spoken vs written language (and I'd count, say, LJ/facebook/twitter comments as a form of spoken in a vague sense since it's basically a conversation). Prescriptive rules are important when it comes to teaching how to write essays or business communication, but descriptive rules are how we look at stuff like "what dialects does "y'all" appear in? when does it occur?" and that's the part I really love about studying language.

/random geek moment.
Jan. 9th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)

*geeks along with you*

Language is *cool*!
Jan. 7th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
Uggghh. Mangling the (poor defenceless) English language is like singing (sufficiently) off key; it makes me cringe and wish I could GAG the offender. [Much though I like Kathleen, she *always* springs to mind at this (musical) point. :-/]

Proper use of language is a hot button of mine too ... along with cretinists (er, that should be "creationists," along with supporters of unIntelligent Design) and a few other stuporstitions. OTOH, I disbelieve in the Big Bang Theory and have yet to see convincing proof that humans are causing changes in the Global Climate. Oh yes, and Right-to-Lifers and (in-your-face) smokers ALSO make me grouchy.
Jan. 7th, 2011 10:50 pm (UTC)
I wish you could visit Ottawa in a few weeks for a local housefilk. I gather that's likely to stretch your budget totally out of shape, though. [sigh]
Jan. 7th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Aren't y'all a little far north for that non-sense, hon?
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)

Yes. But I monitor calls from call centers in Kansas and Arkansas.

Which can be an adventure from time to time.
Jan. 8th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
"Y'all?" You're still in Canada, right? You haven't moved to Mississippi or anything? /facepalm
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)

Nope, it's just that some of the calls I monitor are from call centers in Kansas and Arkansas. So. Sometimes I *feel* like I've moved.
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
There are dialects featuring various 2d person plurals.

My favorite is Pittsburgh's.
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC)
In Pittsburgh, they'll say "yins" for second person plural, and "we-ins" for first person plural.

"We-ins'll go with yins in yin's truck."
Jan. 9th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
lol you've explained this to me before but it sure looks funny written down.

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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