Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spelling Southern

The good Chef sent me a text last night, telling me that John Grisham and I spell “y’all” differently.  The Chef is reading Grisham’s new book The Confession, and ran across this spelling of the contraction you all:


Y’all, I am shocked.  John Grisham is a good Southern man.  How could he let this happen? 

Y’all is a contraction of you and all.  The apostrophe goes where the letter is dropped, like wouldn’t, he’ll, she’ll, it’s.  (Didn’t know you were getting a grammar lesson today, did you?)

See what happens when you look up (the incorrect) ya’ll on Word:


Even the dictionary in Word knows how to spell it.  As does the spell check in Safari, because as I typed in ya'll, it indicated it was incorrect:


Wikipedia gets it right:



Wikipedia even has this picture to illustrate the definition:

We pass this sign when we go down to Georgia on I-75.  It's an indication we're getting close to Chick-fil-A. 

I have to believe this a result of some editor in New York City thinking he was righting a grammatical wrong.  But I do hope someone will change it in the next printing, because goodness knows Mr. Grisham’s books sell a few copies.  And his Southern readers won't look kindly on our dear word being misspelled.