Leave it out, guys

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A M White (YEP, May 18) is by no means alone at being irritated by creeping Americanisation of our language and culture. I couldn’t agree more with your reader.

One of my bêtes noires (whoops, that’s French!) is also the ubiquitous use of the term ‘guys’ for both genders. It is particularly annoying when school teachers use it, as many often do: “Come on, guys, stay on task”.

The origins of this term are to be found in the early rock festival culture. The likes of Mick Jagger hectoring and cajoling the crowds at Altamont and Hyde Park Festivals “Come on, guys”, “listen guys, while I read this for Brian Jones”.

Such terms are now so deeply embedded in our everyday language you cannot shift them.

Another one I’ve notices is when you ask how someone is. They reply “I’m good” instead of “I’m fine” or “very well”. I only realised how often this is used when I accidentally watched some of an American sitcom like Friends.

The latest one, not specifically US but equally annoying, is “You take care” used as a parting.

It sounds like a caring way of saying “cheers” but is also sound patronising and makes you feel like a slightly wayward adolescent. An admonition, really: “I know what you are like”. “Mind how you go,” as policemen would say.

Cool. Now you take care. And mind your language. Moving swiftly on...

John Roberts, Wakefield

YEP Letters: March 1