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Quoting Adam Walker <[log in to unmask]>:

> I'd been deleting the thread on Calif. vowels, so I'm not sure what
> went before but here are the rule for *my* use of the word ya'll.  (And
> yes, that's the way I feel it SHOULD be spelled.)

Oh? There's no /a/ in "ya".  Why would an unstressed vowel
"overrule" a stressed long vowel [a:] when there's a hiatus
conflict?

> I NEVER use it as a singular.  I will, however, frequently use
> it in addressing a signle individual.  Contradiction? Hardly.  When I use
> "ya'll" to address a single idividual (How are ya'll?) I am inquiring,
> not solely about the individual I am addressing, but about that individual
> and his/her family (or other group with which I strongly identify him/her).

That was exactly my point as well.  You can, and indeed for me must, use
"y'all" when speaking to a single individual in their capacity as
representative of a larger group.  You mentioned your family; I mentioned
the waiters working for a restaurant.  The principle is identical.

==============================
Thomas Wier <[log in to unmask]>

"If a man demands justice, not merely as an abstract concept,
but in setting up the life of a society, and if he holds, further,
that within that society (however defined) all men have equal rights,
then the odds are that his views, sooner rather than later, are going
to set something or someone on fire." Peter Green, in _From Alexander
to Actium_, on Spartan king Cleomenes III