Hey guys, are you crazy?

1 min read

Recently, a colleague told me that he was rebuked for saying “I am a crazy guy” in his talk at an international developer conference. Other speakers used the phrase “hey guys” in their talks and had to apologize on stage. My first reaction: WTF?

Why you are no longer allowed to say “hey guys”, everybody uses it, even native speakers, right?

It’s a minefield, really. Still concerned about the generic masculine insinuation of “guys” and want an equally informal, warm alternative? You’re welcome, folks.
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2016/jun/10/you-dont-like-being-called-guys-come-on-people

I gave it some thought, watched Limmy’s video, and read guardian articles [1],[2]. I concluded that “hey guys” is definitely neither gender-neutral nor inclusive, thus, I decided to just remove it from my vocabulary. You can also try it, it won’t hurt ;) besides the fact that you will recognize how many people use the term all the time.

Language constantly changes and I have learned to avoid terms and sayings that might be offensive or put a wrong emphasis one something. Maybe you don’t agree but imho it is worth to give it some thought…and for all the developers out there, do you still use goto?


P.S. regarding “crazy” I recommend to read Crazy talk: The language of mental illness stigma