On "Guys"

Fourth in a series of "An update on David" retrospectives, looking back on the last 11 years at Google: "On \"Guys\""

A lot of people use "guys" to mean "plural humans". This bothers the FUCK out of me, and I hear it all the time - at home (wife referring to our adult son and adult daughter); at work (co-workers referring to a mixed-gender set of other co-workers); on YouTube (don't get me started); etc. etc. etc.

"But I consider guys to be gender neutral". Bullshit. You wouldn't call a female a "guy" - why would you call a group of people "guys" if they're not all guys? This makes no sense to me and is like chalk on a blackboard when I hear it.



Stop calling a group of people "guys". Not everyone in the group is a "guy" and you're (explicitly) excluding them from the conversation. It's yet another small cut (as in, death by a thousand cuts) and can be heard as insulting to the non-guys in the group, and even to the guys too.

There are so many ways to refer to a mixed-gender group of people. You can say "everyone", "folks", "people", "engineers", "you", "y'all", "yinz", etc. It's not that difficult. I've mostly retrained my brain to say "everyone". I'm not completely healed though and I cringe and apologize when I slip up.

Thanks for listening.


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