MTA replaces ‘ladies and gentleman’ with gender-neutral phrases

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK, N.Y. -

New York City subway conductors have been told to use gender-neutral terms when addressing passengers, instead of phrases like “ladies and gentlemen.”

The effort by the MTA faces one hurdle: modern English does not have a second-person plural pronoun.

News 12’s Brian Donohue says the need for gender neutral phrases could be an opportunity to bring back “Youse,” a word that is commonly dismissed as bad English.

The word, found in the dictionary, is common to cities like New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia, and is understood to be the plural of you. Spanish speakers say it is comparable to the word “ustedes,” which translates to “you all.”

Linguists say old English did have pronouns for the second-person plural, but such terms have faded over time and were replaced by informal words like the southern “y'all.”

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