Jo, Christien, and I were very happy to get out of the truck and stretch our legs, and we felt weird (for lack of a better word) to think that we were actually in Mississippi--almost 2,000 miles from home.
The air felt clear and thick and cool. We checked into our motel room and set out to experience the South firsthand. We chose a Mediterranean place called Feifer's, and found a table on the screened-porch side.
A group of college-age people chatted loudly at a table near ours and we tried to decipher bits of their conversation we overheard.
I felt anxious and excited to sit on a porch in Mississippi, eating a fresh salad, and listening to what could very well become my own accent in due time.
I have no problem with developing a drawl, but I'm unsure about the particularities regarding the uses of certain words or phrases. In an attempt to understand exactly how "y'all" is used, I asked Jo and Christien about the proper usage of the word. We discussed it as we ate, and wondered if "y'all" is ever used when speaking to a single person or if it's strictly used when addressing two or more people. We laughed and tried to imitate some of the endearing accents we overheard, and we had a really great time.
When we left, our waitress said, "Thank y'all", and then added with a wink "And by that I mean, 'Thank you.'"
We all felt a little embarrassed that she had overheard our musings, but it was comforting to know that she at least had a sense of humor about it.
The question still remains, however, about how to use "y'all". Maybe a native speaker can enlighten me, but is it ever used for addressing just one person or is "you" still commonly used??
I think I'll proceed to only use "y'all" to address two or more persons so as not to overuse the word or make too much a fool of myself any further.
Write on, y'all.