You is, you are – why not?

English is a growing language. Right? So let’s use that as an excuse to “fix” one of its most irritating failings – you are.

What do yous think? Time for "you is"?

What do yous think? Time for “you is”?

Never fear, I’m not going to suggest that “yous” be legitimised; I can’t stretch the concept of language evolution that far. But what about changing the verb form?

I am
You is
She is
We are
You are
They are

Don’t scream. It will be ok. There is a solid argument.

“To be” is the most irregular verb in English and the most common. There is clearly room for some standardisation – “is” for singular, “are” for plural. (Yes, “I am” messes with my theory, but one step at a time.)

“To be” is a mash-up to start with – it comes from three separate roots and two previously distinct verbs. The Online Etymology Dictionary quotes sources describing “to be” as both:  “A collection of semantically related paradigm fragments,” and “an accidental conglomeration from the different Old English dial[ect]s.”

It used to make sense, so it can again. As explained by DailyWritingTips and The Online Etymology Dictionary, Old English used different verbs for the singular and plural, “bu eart”  being the former and “ye/ge sind” the latter. German continues to use the sind form today.

What do yous all think?

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