quote:Vinny: Is it possible, the two utes... Judge: Eh, the two what? Uh, uh, what was that word? Vinny: Uh, what word? Judge: Two what? Vinny: What? Judge: Uh, did you say 'Utes'? Vinny: Yeah, two utes. Judge: What is a ute? Vinny: Oh, excuse me, your honor. Two YOUTHS.
Depends on where and who. Eg "boyos" could refer to friends ala "Me boyo", while "yobbos" would be "Those yobbos" or "Those yobs". Except when you're playin' the chancer*, then you could refer to your fellows as "yobs". Then again, if ya really are a yob, you'd probably tend to refer to your group as "casuals". And the casuals you don't associate with as "yobs".
Using "blokes" would be nice, except it tends to refer to strangers -- it would never be "my blokes" -- who are a bit more straight-laced.
And "chaps" is a pretty much obso reference to the public**school-class, except when being deliberately archaic. Again it would be "those chaps" and not mine. Same with the "fine young cannibals", except it tends to be used as a cheeky self-reference. Think of mods, posh discos, and The Lord of the Flies: though I suspect it's origin is much older; sometime between Churchill's youth and that of Lawrence (of Arabia).
* On the wrong side of the tracks and the grey side of the law ** An English public school would be an American private school.
Posts: 8501 | Registered: Jul 2001
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I would use the following as neutral terms: Youths (implication of delinquency) Young Men (implies responsibility)
Of course there's also: People
It also depends on how you're referring to the people, if you're saying something like "The guys looked at her in surprise" can you switch it so it reads, "the two/three looked at her..." or "they..." (assuming it's clear who "they" is) or "Benny and Jim looked..."
If you think you're using "guys" an awful lot perhaps you keep repeating a phrase that actually has other alternatives rather than other words for "guys"?
Also, is the book taking place in England? Because if not you might be quite able to use "guys" a lot.
Posts: 8473 | Registered: Apr 2003
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The problem is my writing style is 3rd person mixed with Outside view.
The two lads/chaps/blokes/boyos/guys moved closer to the fire, the night chill causing their breath to mist. Zayne sighed 'Well, things could be going better' He couldnt help but wonder if they would make it out of this forest alive. There had been some tough times in his life; but never this bad. He looked over at his companion, noticing Nadoshi seemed to be mumbling to himself.
It just doesnt read right, eh?
Posts: 67 | Registered: Jan 2006
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It's okay in that instance, individually, but if you're using that kind of phrase a lot (to begin each scene for example) it will get repetative. I agree that "guys" is a lot out of place in this type of writing.
Is that the start of a new scene?
"Zayne and Nadoshi moved closer to..."
If not, we probably already know that it's Zayne and Nadoshi. If it's a scene continuing from earlier that day when they built the fire, or right after a small gap in the narrative...
"As their breath began to mist in the night air, they moved closer to the fire. Zayne sighed..."