Talk:your guys's

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TR debate[edit]

See a debate in Tea room: Special:PermanentLink/24549015#your guys's, from 3 March 2006 to 9 March 2006, around 1800 words. --Dan Polansky 11:13, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

RFV debate[edit]

The following debate is from RFV: Special:PermanentLink/2161050#your_guys.27s. RFV should have only asked for attestation, but there it is, a debate, nontheless. --Dan Polansky 11:08, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.

This inane entry hasn't been deleted yet? Elementary schoolchildren are taught that possessives do not add an "s" if the final letter is already an "s". The English language has no rules at all, anymore? This is the poster-child of descriptivists gone over the edge. --Connel MacKenzie 19:13, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Previous discussion, for context, in which it is already asserted that the entry wouldn't fail CFI, already having three cites, one from a well-known work—and I just added two more, from Google Books. I thought words weren't to be deleted for prescriptivist reasons.
Thanks for that archive link. Re-reading all that is there, it is clear that the only supportive arguments put forth for retaining the entry were based on bad comparisons (e.g. "you're guys's" vs. "your guys's" - when both are inherently incorrect!) The conclusion from the majority then was that the entry was painfully misleading most (not including me) wanted it deleted. Since it won't ever describe the incorrect construction (as nearly every 6-12 year old is taught in elementary school) it should not remain here. --Connel MacKenzie 06:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Should definitely stay, descriptive of usage. Why do you say it "won't ever describe ..."? It says it is non-standard, and I can see nothing stopping you from adding a longer usage note pointing why, and what the standard form is? Robert Ullmann 15:00, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me, but Muke is suggesting removing (again) the indication that it is non-standard. Why he wants to mislead our readers, I do not understand. Compare: correct vs. incorrect. This is in widspread use? One typo that got past only one publisher only once indicates widespread use? --Connel MacKenzie 17:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
See, now you've gone and upset me, and I posted a google search link that yields misleading results. Instead, working around that limitation: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] etc. --Connel MacKenzie 17:45, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
The old discussion reminded me of another thing—the assertion that it is "non-standard" in colloquial speech is unreferenced. So again: any evidence that this is not the normal possessive of the colloquial phrase "you guys", or are some prescriptivists just making things up? —Muke Tever 02:15, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Every author of every English "grammar and spelling" book is "just making things up?" --Connel MacKenzie 06:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't know of many "grammar and spelling" books of colloquial English—only literary English, which is a different standard altogether. —Muke Tever 01:52, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Elementary school aged children learn "literary English"? Oh please. If that were true, there wouldn't be any objection from you at all, would there? --Connel MacKenzie 05:51, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Of course they learn "literary English", unless you're being silly and taking literary in a different sense than I intend (i.e., as opposed to colloquial aka conversational English). Now, ESL learners might get some colloquial English instruction, like how to understand the deviations from the literary standard that everyday speakers prefer, but a kid in elementary school learns that by himself; school is where people are drilled with all sorts of silly rules from what is seen to be the literary standard, like not ending sentences with prepositions, avoiding "hopefully", and writing just an apostrophe even when they say "'s". —Muke Tever 11:21, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Am I reading this right? You are basing your conclusion that "all rules regarding English are wrong," because you don't want to describe spelling and pronunciation separately? --Connel MacKenzie 04:57, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't conclude that "all rules regarding English are wrong." What I intend to say is that there are rules of actual English grammar, and there are rules for the artificial dialect considered "educated" or "formal speech". Yes, in that one magic register that is so reverenced, "your guys's" is an abomination both in speech and in writing. But this isn't a dictionary of formal speech; indeed, lacking a regulating body to say what is and is not English, there's not really an NPOV way to make it one—though we can refer to sources which have taken on the responsibility of saying what is the upper register and what isn't (and these themselves will differ among themselves as to details) and let the user of the dictionary whether he wants to use Strunk & White English, Cambridge English, U or non-U English, Hawaiian English, colloquial English, or whatever. But I still maintain that, until you can cite a source describing the standards of colloquial English in regards to the issues in question (marking possession on both "you" and "guys", writing 's on a possessive plural instead of the bare apostrophe, pronouncing an 's on a possessive plural, and the use of 'you guys' at all in such a construction), it is inaccurate to also refer to it as non-standard. We already know it doesn't belong to the upper register of English by the mere marking of it as "colloquial". Its being a non-standard form of colloquial English remains to be shown. —Muke Tever 17:03, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
What is this "non-standard collquial" thing you are talking about? Do you not understand why there is a comma? The term is non-standard. The term is perhaps colloquial. What is your objection to having two accurate tags? How many more references you want, by the way? --Connel MacKenzie 17:58, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
"Colloquial" is a standard. It is not the upper register of English (i.e. the standard your English teachers grade you against), it is a different standard. I have not yet seen one reference put forth saying "your guys's" deviates from this standard (as opposed to the acrolect's standard). —Muke Tever 02:27, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Poppycock. What standards authority dictates the exact limits of "colloquial"? Calling something "colloquial" in this context is inaccurate anyhow. Now that you've stated that there is such a thing as "standard colloquial" I know you're just making stuff up. --Connel MacKenzie 18:39, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
What standards authority dictates the exact limits of "non-standard"? Calling something "non-standard" in this context is inaccurate anyhow. And I don't understand what's so unusual about asserting the existence of words, language, etc., used in spoken communication (and informal written communication that reflects this usage) falling within the range acceptable to them (which is not the range acceptable to formal written communication or speech reflecting same). —Muke Tever 03:20, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Rereading this section, it sppears you are the only one objecting to the obviously correct "non-standard" tag. The most important feature of an entry at this spelling is that it must indicate that it is incorrect. Of secondary importance, is to show the possible acceptance of it under only certain informal conditions. You (only?) wish the Wiktionary entry to say that the spelling is always valid at all times, which clearly is not the case. --Connel MacKenzie 04:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
No, the spelling (indeed, the whole word) is not valid at all times: only in colloquial use. And it is already marked as colloquial. "Non-standard", in the sense of 'standard' it intends (my disagreeing with that use being a separate matter) is true but redundant. —Muke Tever 00:59, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
The English language does have rules, but that was never one of them. Plenty of words ending in "s" add another "s" in the possessive. Outside of plurals, only a select few weird names (e.g. Jesus) do not add an "s", in such cases a variant with the extra "s" also exists. --Ptcamn 04:33, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
No. Never. Following the first hit from a web search: --Connel MacKenzie 06:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC) Note: "grammar possessive plural" + [I'm feeling lucky!]. --Connel MacKenzie 17:47, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
"Well, hardly ever."
There is, of course (and thankfully!) no one official "standard" for the English language; we have no equivalent of l'Académie. So just because you can point at that page at does not mean it's The Truth. Me, I disagree with several of its prescriptions: they don't match what I was taught, I don't use them, and I'm not going to switch to them just 'cause it says so. —scs 17:51, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Is this a call for verification with references, or a race to the bottom? I said it was the first reference (the "I'm feeling lucky!" button) but there are thousands more that follow, with very similar prescriptions...evidently that one is "the best" in google's reviewer's opinion. --Connel MacKenzie 01:54, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
It's neither a race to the bottom, nor a call for references. I don't disbelieve the existence of your reference, it's just that I don't personally agree with it. More on this below. —scs 04:16, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
The diagram is [[you]r [guys]]'s. Your link doesn't say anything about adding 's to phrases; a parallel example would be: the boy : the boy she likes :: the boy's book : X, where X would normally be ‘the boy she likes’s book’—in colloquial speech, at any rate. (I think 'literary' English would omit the construction altogether, and take something foreign to colloquial English, e.g. ‘the book of the boy she likes’.) —Muke Tever 01:52, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Why not just say (as you and I discussed in IRC) "the boy she likes' book"? If a literary construct were sought, of course, the sentence would simply be recast, as "the book of the boy she likes." I don't understand why you think it necessary to add the extra (incorrect) "s" matter how you analyze it. --Connel MacKenzie 05:51, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Because people don't talk that way. I put up a poll in my LiveJournal (with a different example—since plurals are the quibble—using "king of spades" instead of "boy she likes"). So far (10 responses, including mine) the trend is that most people understand the rule for writing that you write "the king of spades' hat", or avoid it and say "the hat of the king of spades" but half the people actually say "the king of spades's hat". Also most people so far who would use a form of "you guys" in the possessive preferred "you guys's", with apostrophe, while denying it to the literary standard altogether. —Muke Tever 11:21, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
The site Connel linked lists "Dr. Seuss'" as an example of a word ending in -s that doesn't add an s, yet Seuss's gets 1,090 Google Books hits. --Ptcamn 10:31, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
The Random House Dictionary of the English Language says:
To form the possessive of singular nouns (common or proper) ending in s or the sound of s, add an apostrophe and as s in most cases: the bus’s signal light, Francis’s promotion;
But if the addition of an s would produce an awkward or unpleasant sound or visual effect, add only an apostrophe: Socrates’ concepts, for goodness’ sake, for old times’ sake.
In some cases, either form is acceptable: Mr. Jones’s or Mr. Jones’ employees; Keats’s or Keats’ poetry.
To form the possessive of plural nouns (common or proper) ending in s, add only an apostrophe: farmers’ problems, judges’ opinions, students’ views, two weeks’ vacation.
The Random House goes into greater detail and other cases, but these are the pertinent ones for the case of guys’s vs. guys’ (it only permits guys’) as well as Dr. Seuss, where either is permitted. —Stephen 11:45, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
What edition are you looking at there, on what page? Have they redacted that version yet? --Connel MacKenzie 01:51, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
It’s the unabridged edition, copyright 1967, page 1897 under APOSTROPHE (’). —Stephen 05:57, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
"if the addition of an s would produce an awkward or unpleasant sound or visual effect" is a terrible copout. It amounts to saying "You always add an s, except where you don't." --Ptcamn 12:02, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that one is poorly worded: all other references I've seen disallow that trailing "s" without exception. --Connel MacKenzie 01:51, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
You mean you have references that recommend writing "the bus’ signal light" and "Francis’ promotion"? —Stephen 05:57, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Such as the ones I linked, above? All! --Connel MacKenzie 21:29, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I suspect we're counting pinhead-dancing angels at this point, but FWIW: the rule I learned is not that you don't add 's to form the possessive of words already ending in s. The rule I learned is that you don't add 's to form the possessive of plurals already ending in s. Strunk and White go on about this at some length, emphasizing that for singular words ending in s, you just always automatically add 's, and get yourself in far less trouble, and spend much less time fretting over potential exceptions. (Their example concerned the removal of the young Prince Charles's tonsils.) —scs 17:30, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Reference, please. They must be writing about pronunciation not spelling, but without context, it is rather hard to check on your claim. --Connel MacKenzie 01:51, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Strunk and White, The Elements of Programming Style, N-1th edition, my copy isn't handy so I can't give you the page number.
Yes, they were talking about spelling, not pronunciation.
I don't know why you find this so hard to accept. The rules of English are not standardized. That means that some rules are different in different books. That means that one authority may say that "Charles's tonsils" is correct, and another may say that "Charles' tonsils" is correct. This does not mean that one authority is "right" and one authority is "wrong" -- they're both "right" (whatever that means). I am not, therefore, insisting that you use the same set of rules I do -- merely that you extend me the same courtesy, and not insist that I use yours.
Of course, the strict descriptivist would say that there are no rules of the English language, except the invisible ones that are wired into the brains of native English speakers. So if there are significant groups of people who have decided that the possessive of "Charles" sounds like /charlziz/ and the possessive of "you guys" sounds like /yur guiziz/, and if significant numbers of them start reflecting their pronunciations in their spellings as "Charles's" and "your guys's", you can't really say that "your guys's" is r-o-n-g-WRONG; it's just dialect, perhaps nonstandard. But this is language evolution in action, so after a while what was wrong and then nonstandard and then dialect may become perfectly acceptably correct. (One can watch this in action today, as "their" becomes increasingly acceptable as a third-person singular possessive.)
Me, I think pronunciation does provide a useful clue about spelling of possessives. It's easy to remember that "my parents' house" is correct, because that's the way I pronounce it. And it's equally easy for me to remember that "Charles's" is correct (for me, and for Strunk & White), because that's how I pronounce it. I suppose the double sibilant at the end sounds awkward, but saying "Prince Charles tonsils" (where I've left out the apostrophe, 'cause you can't hear it) sounds wrong. (It sounds like a brand of tonsils, or something, along the lines of Prince Albert tobacco.)
Finally, I can easily imagine a bunch of teenaged girls saying /yur guiziz/ (where the second word is homonymous with the real word guises, so the pronunciation can't be that awkward). Heck, I can even imagine saying /yur guiziz/ myself. So the spelling "your guys's" does not look glaringly wrong to me.
This is all much ado about nothing, of course, because I don't care whether your guys's stays or goes. The prescriptivism vs. descriptivism debate is an old one, and I probably shouldn't belabor the point (while adding nothing new in the process) now. My main point is just that I don't understand how you can say things like "it is always an incorrect spelling", when the very fact that we're having the discussion proves that it might not be. —scs 04:16, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Then, since the conclusion in the earlier discussion was to not have a multi-level Wiktionary, this obviously should be deleted. Right?
The {{non-standard}} label was removed without making the absurd assertions above, let alone supporting them with references. It is not Wiktionary's role to advance the decline of language, despite what our resident "descriptivist" contingent things. Descriptivism is not to simply repeat every random key sequence that appears on the internet, by making a back-formation description of it. English has rules. Your assertion that it does not is beyond silly.
The fact that we are having this discussion proves that Wiktionary has lots of ridiculous entries. It does not prove that the spelling is "proper." It is a monstrous disservice to our readers (especially English language learners) to suggest that this can be spelled this way. Plurals ending in sibilants have only an apostrophe added, not "'s". It is usually pronounced with two /z/s at the end, making it a fairly common spelling error for very young children in elementary school. --Connel MacKenzie 04:54, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
First of all (in response to your edit history summary), yes, by all means do keep a cool head here. I'm sorry if it sounded like I was trying to (or if I said anything that did) get your goat -- really, this is just an abstract intellectual discussion, nothing to get exercised about.
Second, I think you misunderstood several things I said. I do not condone the removal of the {nonstandard} tag for this entry. I did not assert that English has no rules -- I said that a strict descriptivist would, and even that statement was qualified. And I did not attempt to prove that the contested spelling is "proper" -- my intent was only to suggest that it might not be wholly improper. (And I hope that doesn't sound like a hair-splittingly quibbling difference.) —scs 05:18, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Muke, are you on a campaign to invalidate all of WT:RFV as a process? You don't believe hundreds and thousands of books on grammar, usually written by groups of PhD linguists (as opposed to individuals,) especially reduced to elementary school levels? But you respect your own website more? And that is a reason to throw out w:WP:NOR entirely? --Connel MacKenzie 01:51, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Invalidate RFV? Read Template:nosecondary and substitute "dictionary" with "grammar guide". The inclusion rules are for what people use, and there are enough cites to meet RFV already on the page. There's nothing that prevents you from citing every guide to colloquial English grammar ever written on the page that condemns the form. We've already had similar discussions on words like alot; this is not a new kind of situation. (Actually some of the points on Talk:alot that haven't been brought up here are valid in this instance too.)
As for the poll I put on my blog, it wasn't to support the RFV. It only had two purposes: to see how often "your guys's" would be preferred (never, it turns out, which would make it a really bad source for me to cite anyway) and to show that people do add 's to plurals in colloquial English. A bonus side effect was that it showed that most of them know that the rules they use in writing are different from the rules they use in speaking—in fact, even the three people who said "king of spades's hat" was more correct in writing (which is not according to the usual formal-English rule) said in speech they would actually say "king of spades' hat" (which is correct according to the usual formal-English rule). —Muke Tever 17:03, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Muke, are you trying to describe how "your guys'" is pronounced? If so, then a note within the pronunciation section (along with a separate audio file) would be the way to go. But we should not have an entry at your guys's because it is always an incorrect spelling. If we are to have an entry there, it must be painfully clear that it cannot be spelled that way. --Connel MacKenzie 01:51, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Whilst it may indeed be futile and perhaps meaningless to declare something categorically incorrect, it is worth stating whether or not a word is consistent with the rules of English grammar. Extreme descriptivists decry such prescriptivism; however, even just labelling the entire diverse mass of this variegated language as “English” is prescriptive, after all, what objectively distinguishes a language from a dialect? Perhaps imposing one set of rules upon “English” is “trying to put it in a box”, but without doing so, “English” — the somewhat artificial construct that it is — would cease (or perhaps, in some strict sense, already has ceased) to be something which can be considered a single language. That’s fine for those of you who would like to see English go the way of Vulgar Latin; however, if that is to be the way Wiktionary is run, it cannot justifiably refer unto but one “English”.
Conversely, because of there being no one set of agreed rules for English, we’ll just have to pick the most functional; that is, as in the spirit of Wiktionary:General American English with maximal distinctions, by prescribing those features of English that allow the most distinctions, and the most precise, specific meaning to be conveyed. Such an approach, for example, would disallow the use of me when my ought to be used, as it blurs a distinction, both when considering the words in isolation, and when used in certain grammatical constructs.
Specifically unto this case: yes, we should include this entry, as any dictionary ought to contain the entirety of a language, erroneous elements and all; however, a dictionary ought also to tag such entries as incorrect, and include a usage note explaining why. A dictionary can do a lot more to improve a language’s writers’ use of their language by including an entry and tagging it as incorrect than it ever can by simply omitting it. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 05:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Very well said. I agree. I am actually offended that the "non-standard" tag was removed, which ultimately is what brought this to an RFV and continues to evoke my suggestion that it should be deleted. That said, however, the entry should be at the correct spelling, your guys', not the obviously incorrect one. --Connel MacKenzie 16:05, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Howzabout we just put the "nonstandard" tag back? —scs 20:15, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I second Connel’s suggestion that we replace the current entry with “Misspelling of your guys’”, and then tag that one as non-standard. (Non-standard for you guys’, which would, in turn, be non-standard for your...) Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 03:24, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I don't agree that this is a misspelling, from my POV its the correct spelling of an incorrect construction. If one was following the "rules" one wouldn't say /gaizis/ one would say /gaiz/ - if the rules are being ignored then the spelling should reflect the pronunciation. Kappa 11:24, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Fine, tag it as “Misconstruction, intended to mean your guys’” instead. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:44, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
You need a reference to mark stuff as "mis-" anything. Further, as it meets CFI you can't "replace the current entry" with it, because the rules say it merits an entry (even if that entry were to be full of grammarians cited decrying it; cf. alot). —Muke Tever 02:27, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
But in English, pronunciation does not always accurately reflect pronunciation! The complaints I hear from Europeans learning English usually have that aspect of English as their primary complaint about the language. Is your POV that en.wiktionary should act as a reformer of all English spelling? By whose authority? --Connel MacKenzie 17:58, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Do you really, honestly believe the rules governing use of 's vs. bare apostrophe are purely orthographic and have no basis in recommended pronunciation? If so, why do many grammar guides (such as the Random House guide above) refer to sound or reasons of euphony as guidelines in whether to use 's or not in the dubious situations? —Muke Tever 02:27, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
What portion of English words are pronounced exactly as spelled? Your one reference suggests that the pronunciation may affect spelling in that situation, but yes, I do disagree with their suggestion...particularly since all the others I've found (refer again to the many links above) disagree. --Connel MacKenzie 18:39, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Mark Rosenfelder's sample of 5000 English words shows about 59% pronounced exactly as spelled; 85% with a few less-easy-to-automate elements (vowel length or pronouncing s as /z/) excluded. (And "the worst offenders in the language are already included in the sample; a larger vocabulary would include a higher percentage of well-behaved spellings.") [10] Of the many links posted in this discussion, I found none indicating that a bare apostrophe is intended to be pronounced as 's in any circumstance—that appears to be an idiosyncracy of yours. —Muke Tever 03:20, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Then why has every person except you suggested replacing the "non-standard" tag? --Connel MacKenzie 04:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I need to warn you guys (no pun intended) that you probably should rarely listen to a word Connel MacKenzie has to say in these things. Connel clearly wants this dictionary to be only how he thinks it should be. He just deletes things at random for example, because they don't agree with his opinion about how this dictionary should be. "boss's", "bus's" etc. are perfectly fine spellings despite what Connel says. To say there not is plain silly. Shoof 14:18, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
You wish to engage in personal attacks? Is that why you have crap-loaded Wiktionary with dozens of illiterate entries? Every grammar text I see disagrees with you. --Connel MacKenzie 19:37, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
You are misrepresenting him. His line of argument (as far as I understand it) is that all possessives are formed with an “’s”, except for plurals ending in an “-s” (however, I would like clarification of his view of how to form possessives of words pluralised as per crisis; namely, “is” → “es”). Therefore, he would also view “boss’s” and “bus’s” as correct (just not “bosses’s” or “buses’s”). Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 10:50, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

This entry ought to be deleted. We do not, as far as I can see, have entries for the possessive forms of any other words, under the assumption, I assume, that people know how to form possessives (be it by using the correct rules or not). Yes, the notable exception is the genitive forms of the pronouns, of which your guys’s is one; however, we already have an entry for your, and guys may be inflected for the possessive whichsoever way the inflector desires. As such, this entry is unnecessary. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 10:50, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm deleting this definition on the grounds that wiktionary does not list possessives. We don't even have the proper possessive form of you guys why do we have the improper one? This normally isn't my kind of thing but when I was browsing the RFV's "your guys's" caught my attention. Randy6767 20:04, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Please do not blank entries. A sysop will delete it when consensus has been reached. --Connel MacKenzie 20:13, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry about that, things work a little differently on wikipedia Randy6767 01:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I have added an RFD tag hereunto; see here. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:19, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Deletion debate[edit]

Added from --Dan Polansky 11:28, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for deletion.

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your guys's

This word is an illiteracy. Your guys’s is a non-standard form of your guys’, which is itself a non-standard form of you guys’, which is itself a non-standard form of your — that’s three degrees of being wrong. Ya’ll (being ya’ll < y’all < you all < all of you) was deleted for this same reason. Add unto that that we normally don’t include possessives, and that as ’s is a clitic, to do so consistently would require having a possessive form for every word in English. There is at præsent a discussion in the Beer Parlour as unto whether to exclude possessive forms from Wiktionary; it is likely to go unto WT:VOTE after a while. Whatever the outcome thereof, your guys’s should not be in Wiktionary. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:14, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Already passed, IIRC. It has an interesting pronunciation too. For someone as ardent as you in introducing non-standard forms to the wikt, for you to denounce this as non-standard is pretty rich, don’t you think? ;-) Robert Ullmann 09:18, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
As stated here, I introduce pædantic, not non-standard forms. What is IIRC? Oh, and fabulously wealthy, I’m sure. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 09:59, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Look it up — this’s a dictionary! Jonathan Webley 10:05, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I would have, if it had been linked; I assumed that it was an internal Wiktionary initialism. This entry may have passed before, but on what grounds? The arguments may have changed since then. Furthermore, where does it state that WT:RFD has the double jeopardy rule? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 10:13, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

It’s pretty hideous, but it’s well-cited, so… to be honest there isn’t really an argument. Widsith 10:36, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, it’s absolutely peppered with tags of disapproval (RFD, RFV, neologism, slang, non-standard). I guess the only way it’ll be deleted is if the anti-possessive proposal passes WT:VOTE. OK, since your guys’s is staying, I’ll go reädd ya’ll. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:05, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
The trouble with ya'll is that it's spelled wrong (y'all is correct).  With your guys's, it's illiterate, but spelled correctly. — V-ball 01:37, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Even though I don’t think my vote here will count for anything: delete. --Connel MacKenzie 06:53, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Sigh. keep, hideous but irregular and well cited. Should be kept even if regular possessive forms are disallowed. Kappa 07:05, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Does this mean that we’re drifting towards a policy of not allowing regular and well-constructed possessives, but allowing aberrations and monstrosities because they’re errors? --EncycloPetey 07:13, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
That really would be the depths of madness. Kappa, how can you argue for the inclusion of your guys’s, even if all other possessives were to be excluded‽ Your guys’s isn’t irregular, it’s “hyperregular”, just like childs. It is formed through nescience of the sibilant-terminal plural exception unto the “+’s” rule for forming possessives; which means we get your guys’s, and not your guys’ (which is still doubly, but not triply wrong). Come on, we don’t need or want this entry. For the love of God, delete it! † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:36, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
We have to include irregular word forms regardless of whether or not we exclude regular forms. OK, maybe this one is “hyperregular” not “irregular” — but since its not predictable from the “rules” the entry won’t be redundant. Kappa 16:47, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. Show me one fluent capable English speaker who does not immediately recognise that your guys’s is the illiterately-formed possessive of you guys. It’s entirely predictable. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:19, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Lots of fluent and capable English speakers know it's illiterate right away, but that doesn't mean it's not used, properly cited, etc. — V-ball 01:37, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
When I first heard this, I assumed it was a one-off nonce or error, not a recurring feature of any English dialect. Kappa 17:32, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Wiktionary will be a total joke if this idiotic illiteracy is allowed to be kept in, delete it! Their are several reasons to get rid of this word and none to keep it, if we start including possessives now do you guys realize how long that it will take to include them all? we cant just change the way we do things for a word that I have yet to find in twelve actual dictionaries. I'll be embarrassed to call myself a wiktionarian with this hideous word lurking around. Randy6767 17:39, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
We aren't changing anything by including it, since it passes the CFI. If we start deleting "idiotic illiteracies" because of our POV about them then that will be a radical change. Kappa 18:14, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I may be mistaken here but I believe back in elementary school this word would have been called a "double possessive", along with double possessives their were also triple and quadruple possessives and so on. If we include this double possessive we must also include it's triple and quadruple possessives and so on; your guys's, your guys's's, your guys's's's, your guys's's's's, your guys's's's's's.... and so. Also with each added ('s) the definition would in turn become longer; the possessive of a possessive, the possessive of a possessive of a possessive, the possessive of a possessive of a possessive of a possessive, the possessive of a possessive of a possessive of a possessive of a possessive.... and so on. This creates a never ending cycle of required definitions that we simply have no room for. Delete it or get ready to add a few billion more illiteracies to wiktionary. Randy6767 19:16, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
The thin edge of the wedge/slippery slope argument is invalid in RFD. We consider all terms individually on their merits. Double possessives (which might or might not exist) do not automatically lead to possessives of higher orders (which, I maintain, definitely do not exist). — Paul G 09:34, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
This should be deleted. The scarcity of actual citations is enlightening: [11]. The hodgepodge of other sources (a band's web interview? a thoroughly ungrammatical forum post from a 14-year-old? a movie?) is nothing more than Google noise that you could pick up for any uncommon misspelling or ungrammatical construction. This doesn't pass the bar for being a common enough variant for inclusion. Seriously. Try a Google Books, even, search on a double possessive for any common noun. I tried "dogs's" first (which I've never heard before) and found dozens more for that than "your guys's" [12] [13] [14] [15]. This is not the same as neice or accidently. We don't keep around incorrect constructions just because they are conceivable. Dmcdevit 08:52, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Delete. bd2412 T 16:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Deleted. So sue me. Andrew massyn 15:48, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Moved from page[edit]

  • The following comment was in the rfd tag. DAVilla 11:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

This word is an illiteracy. Your guys's is a nonstandard form of your guys', which is itself a nonstandard form of you guys', which is itself a nonstandard form of your - that's three degrees of being wrong. Ya'll (being ya'll < y'all < you all < all of you) was deleted for this same reason. Add unto that that we normally don't include possessives, and that as 's is a clitic, to do so consistently would require having a possessive form for every word in English. There is at præsent a discussion in the Beer Parlour as unto whether to exclude possessive forms from Wiktionary; it is likely to go unto WT:VOTE after a while. Whatever the outcome thereof, your guys's should not be in Wiktionary.


This page has a long history of deletions. Except for the first one, it appears these were deleted on the discretion of administrators, rather than a result of community discussion. Without assuming bad faith, I'd like to note that this term is positively loathed by prescriptivist grammarians. (I agree; it's awkward. When I don't use your I personally use you guys's or you guys', which aren't much better, but all of these are used, and your guys's seems to be the most common of these.)

It is however well attested. A Google search returns more than half a million results. On the first page, three of these are prescriptivist grammarians complaining about the usage, one is an Urban Dictionary entry, and the remainder are genuine uses of these. I can't imagine how one could justify deletion, other than a strong dislike of the term; but since it's happened before, I'm making myself very clear.

I suspect that there's a good chance that somebody is going to want to delete this anyways, so please, if you think you can justify it, please do nominate it at requests for deletion. I'd also like to ask that you consider emailing me out of courtesy, as I check Wiktionary well less than once a week. However I hope that my rationale on this talk page will be reason enough to defeat any nominations that go through the deletion process. Thanks and regards, Quintucket 19:34, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Restoration debate[edit]

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.

your guys's

This entry apparently failed RFD years ago, with Visviva commenting in the deletion log on 20 September 2007 that "RFD appears to have wide agreement for deletion; recent vote on possessives also seems prejudicial". I can't find the RFD discussion. The talk page has an RFV discussion (an archive which shouldn't have been deleted, but was!). I'd like to know why the entry was deleted... it's cited and idiomatic. I dispute that the vote on possessives is relevant, because this isn't just the addition of an apostrophe, s or combination thereof, it's also the change of "you" into "your". (posted here because RFD is the appropriate forum for debating deletions and undeletions) - -sche (discuss) 19:37, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Delete per Wiktionary:AEN#Criteria for inclusion. It used to be in WT:CFI but was removed because it was deemed that issues only relating to English (or any other single language) should not be in WT:CFI. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:42, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
That passage doesn't apply, though. It says to delete possessive forms "which are otherwise not idiomatic". "Your guys's" is idiomatic when used to mean "your". It would be unidiomatic if I told a football coach "your guys's uniforms are dirty" (meaning, "the uniforms of your players are dirty"), but when I tell a husband and wife "your guys's house is lovely", it's idiomatic. - -sche (discuss) 19:49, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Precisely. I was going to say much the same thing, but we had an edit conflict, and with the example of the coach, you said what I wanted to say, only better. --Quintucket 19:54, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep as recreator. First of all, I'd like to thank you for bringing this to RFD this time, and for undeleting the old revisions. I note that every deletion except the first appeared to be on administrator discretion. Any rate, as you noted, it's cited and attested. I'd also like to note that this is a possessive pronoun, rather than a possessive noun, and I assume that the discussion on possessives (could you link it?) only applies to nouns, given that we have entries for your, yours, and every other (standard) possessive pronoun, including one's, which is formed in the same way as nouns, and not irregularly, as you noted, is the case here. --Quintucket 19:47, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
@-sche yes it does come down to idiomaticity and attestation. I've certainly never heard of it; only of "you guys'" or "you guys's", so I'd welcome unambiguous citations, which would probably mean citations with lots of context around them. As for idiomatic, I'm not sure. I neither accept your claim nor reject it. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:55, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Can you explain what you mean by citations with a lot of context? It's colloquial, which means most of the usages I can find are either a. prescriptivists railing against hearing it used, or b. casual usage on low-brow sites like Yahoo Answers, YouTube, and Sodahead. --Quintucket 20:04, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Strong keep.RuakhTALK 21:58, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
FYI, I have added one more discussion from the archives to Talk:your guys's. --Dan Polansky 11:31, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
@Quintucket enough context so that the meaning is clear, other than that, WT:CFI#Attestation. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:03, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Mglovesfun, can I ask why you keep posting below the post after the one you're responding to? Any rate, a Google search provides attestation, per 1 & 3:
  1. Widespread use, more than half a million hits in the Google search. On the first page we have examples from Yahoo! Answers, YouTube, Sodahead,
  2. A definition at Urban Dictionary and another one at UMBC.
  3. We also have a bunch of prescriptivist complaints about usage in various language-y blogs that fairly clearly demonstrate usage.
  4. Most of these are from the past year, demonstrating a recency effect, however the UMBC example is from 2005, and a result from 2009 is first on the second page.
The latter two in particular seem to demonstrate it's a possesive form of you guys. (Several of these note that "you guys's" is another form, though it's far less attested with 47 k results. I may still create page for that if/when this one defeats deletion.) —Quintucket 17:21, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Strong keep, descriptive vs. prescriptive, idiomatic and all that. DAVilla 15:50, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
@Quintucket I see it's now cited, ergo I abstain. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:11, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep per nom: it's not SOP, is attested, and the vote on possessive's doesn't seem to apply.​—msh210 (talk) 17:45, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Delete It is SoP in dialect speech, equivalent to "you guy's", "you guys", "your guys'", or "your guys", the last three being more or less standard informal, the informality a consequence of guy. Consider "those guys's", "these guys's", both of which would be attestable. I also don't understand why you guys is any more entry-worthy than you men, you workers, you fellars. All of the forms with forms of guy should probably simply be redirect to the corresponding form of guy, appropriately defined. DCDuring TALK 12:09, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Also, the specific cites could use correction or replacement. Context, ie, a url, is particularly important for determining what the standard equivalent definition is. The 2000 cite does not have a link that works for me. The 2005 cite is not "durably archived". The quote didn't show up for the 2006 cite and I couldn't refind it by searching for the passage. DCDuring TALK 12:31, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep, great use of cites at this entry! -- Cirt (talk) 23:45, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

kept -- Liliana 00:44, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

all of your[edit]

I'm not an expert in colloquial English, especially not American, but I think all of your is used as a 2nd plural possessive. At least, I recently watched an old Friends episode where one of the characters says to the other five: "I'm glad all of your Thanksgiving sucked!" If this is frequent, it should probably get an entry because it's idiomatic and not according to standard English grammar. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).