DAVID GREENE, Host:
It's Wednesday and that means we hear from commentator Frank Deford. As many of you have come to learn over the years, he loves language as much as he loves sports. And today, he's fixated on one word. A word he thinks has become too inclusive.
FRANK DEFORD: As best as I know, I own the distinction of being the first human being to call our national attention to a linguistic phenomenon. This was back in 1972, in an article in Sports Illustrated about Robyn Smith, who was then the best female jockey in the land. Robyn referred to married couples as you guys. I was so bemused that someone might actually refer to a woman as a guy that I felt obliged to mention it in the piece.
That was 39 years ago. But now, my friends, guy has just taken over. There are no men and women left, no males or females, let alone ladies and gentlemen or boys and girls. It's just guys. Even Down South, y'all is being replaced by you guys. Recently, even the president ended his press conference, saying thank you, guys.
How did females become guys? How did everyone become guys? Remember, too, that a male guy was something of a scoundrel. And a wise guy was a fresh kid, a whippersnapper. Now every mother's son is a guy and every mother's daughter, too. If they wrote the musical now, it wouldn't be called "Guys and Dolls" - just "Guys and Guys."
What accounts for the guy-ification of America? Maybe it has to do with the fact that men had to stop calling grown women girls. Gals kind of went out, too, so there wasn't anything else available. In sports, for a long time, even after it was gauche for anyone else to call adult females girls, women athletes still referred to each other as girls, but that just won't do anymore.
S: Yo, dude, who are the guys on your team? Still, nobody addresses anybody as guy. We'll say, Dude, you're a good guy, but nobody says, Guy, you're a good dude.
Understand, I have nothing against women becoming guys, too. I'm just tired of everything being guy-ish. Now we're all just guys. All guys are created equal. God is a guy now. Your father is just another guy. So is your mother. Guys, start your engines. Happy Valentines, my guy. A pretty guy is like a melody. We're all the same guys under the skin.
Yo, dude, let's stop guying.
GREENE: That's commentator Frank Deford who joins us each Wednesday from WSHU in Fairfield, Connecticut.