Now that I know that 'you people' is considered offensive in most parts of the United States, I am looking for a suitable alternative in formal/informal scenarios in both verbal and written communication.

For some weird reason, I dont want to use folks or guys instead of people cause I am going to be addressing a group of people;) considerably elder to me.

1. Pleasure having dinner with you people - I would say "Pleasure having dinner with you (or dinner with you both, or dinner with you all, or dinner with individuals like you".

Whats the most natural way of saying that in a conversation? Pick one from the above or give me a suggesstion.

2. "Alright people, lets get started" . Even though this does not look any offensive/obnoxious to me, I tend to get paranoid everytime I see the word people, and I try to avoid as much as I can. Is this form accepted in the United States?
I could substitute "Alright everybody, lets get started". "Alright folks, lets get started".

3. "Some people came, some didnt". Is that really rude? Doesnt really look like to me.

Please clarify the above things, and I'd apreciate more examples of commonness where 'people' is considered normal and where it is considered offensive. I dont mind reading long responses.
Thanks much.
New Member26
Hi,

Here are a few comments from a Canadian.

The word 'people' is not inherently offensive in any way.

Now that I know that 'you people' is considered offensive in most parts of the United States, I am looking for a suitable alternative in formal/informal scenarios in both verbal and written communication.
I wouldn't have said it was offensive. I'd say it all depends on the context.
eg You people have all been so wonderful and so kind to me does not seem to me in the least way offensive.

eg Sit down and be quiet, you people is offensive because of the abrupt way you are issuing an order.
'Sit down and be quiet is equally offensive.

For some weird reason, I dont want to use folks or guys instead of people cause I am going to be addressing a group of people;) considerably elder to me.

1. Pleasure having dinner with you people - I would say "Pleasure having dinner with you (or dinner with you both, or dinner with you all, or dinner with individuals like you". If the phrase worries you, don't say it.
Say eg It was a pleasure having dinner with you.

Whats the most natural way of saying that in a conversation? Pick one from the above or give me a suggesstion.

2. "Alright people, lets get started" . Even though this does not look any offensive/obnoxious to me, I tend to get paranoid everytime I see the word people, and I try to avoid as much as I can. Is this form accepted in the United States?
I could substitute "Alright everybody, lets get started". "Alright folks, lets get started".

First, note that all of thee terms for people are informal.

I suggest you just omit them.
Say eg Alright, let's get started, please.

3. "Some people came, some didnt". Is that really rude? Doesnt really look like to me. It's fine.

Please clarify the above things, and I'd apreciate more examples of commonness where 'people' is considered normal and where it is considered offensive. I dont mind reading long responses.

As I said, the word 'people' is not inherently offensive. Where did you get this idea from?

Clive
Veteran Member69,521
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
'you people' is only offensive when used to address an ethnic group or other political or politicized group not the same as the one you belong to. A white politician cannot address an auditorium full of African Americans and make comments about 'all the progress you people have made', for example.

In the case of very elderly people, you might get a similar reaction, but it's not as likely. In any case you can always omit 'people': It was a pleasure having dinner with (all of) you.

CJ
Veteran Member53,431
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Thanks Clive and CalifJim. Excellent responses. I knew that 'you people' is not as offensive as an expletive but on my interaction with some people in the Bronyx, NY - who were Southerners, I have learnt this. Then I went all paranoid everytime I had to say/use the word people.

One time I was with a dinner, it was slip of a tongue, I was a little tipsy and I said "It was honor having dinner with...... you people". Other elder guy sarcastically asked me "You people?!". He was meant to tease me, but I felt a little embarrassed because I knew it but I said it, it was a slip of a tongue. Emotion: smile

Clive, good response as expected.
CalifJim, that example sure helps others who might stumble on this question.

Thanks.
Live chat
Registered users can join here