Monday, 7 January 2008

Word of the day

Thank you to Tom for today's word, which is yo, used as a gender-neutral third-person singular pronoun in place of "he" and "she". It is in an article from a journal called American Speech (2007) v.82(3):262-279 - "A new gender-neutral pronoun in Baltimore, Maryland: a preliminary study / Elaine M Stotko and Margaret Troyer. Here's an example of this new usage, from the article "Yo handin' out papers" = She [the teacher] is handing out papers."

The Wikipedia defines the normal role of the word as an American slang interjection, or a greeting (like "hey") but with other meanings according to tone, context and situation. It can also be an exclamation at the end of a sentence.

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