"I thought it was
singular "y'all" and plural "all y'all""
That seems to be a common Yankee (meant generally, as in non-Southern) misconception; Hollywood gets this wrong a lot. "You" is singular; "y'all" is plural (comp. Joisey and Lon Giland "youse guys"). "All y'all" means "all of you," as in "Why don't all y'all come on over tomorrow?"
--- In email@example.com, "Darrell A. Martin" <darrellm@...> wrote:
> On 4/27/2011 12:04 AM, John Rateliff wrote IN PART:
> > Even odder, Old English used to have a special set of pronouns to
> > indicate two persons: we-two, you-two, those-two. Lost long ago, but it
> > wd come in handy sometimes.
> > Luckily as a Southerner I still have access in spoken English to
> > you-singular and you-plural: "you" and "y'all" [=you-all]
> > --JDR
> Yes, the dual number would come in handy now and then, although I don't
> think there was a third person "those-two" form. And, I thought it was
> singular "y'all" and plural "all y'all" but that has always confused me
> because my native tongue is Yankee (rural New England). Now I'm confused
> again. Still.