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General Writing and Grammar Help/Refering to Inanimate objects as "guy"


Lately, I have been hearing many people refer to inanimate objects using the word "guy."  For example, the cashier in a bakery pointed to an item and said "This guy is on sale."  I find this very strange and poor grammar.  I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this.  Thanks.


I completely agree with your thinking that an inanimate object is grammatically incorrect when referred to as masculine (guy). Using guy has been quite common in the vernacular where grammatical rules do not apply. Remember this is common street talk used b those who are primarily uneducated.

I often hear "guys", referring to an assemblage of men and women. This, too, is grammatically incorrect. The bottom line is "guys" is generic for an assemblage of things.

I hope that answers your question,

Jerry Leone

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Jerry Leone


I`ve taught writing or some aspect of the English language for nearly 35 years. I can answer nearly any question on grammar, usage or meanings of words above dictionary usage. An avid crossword fan and writer, I can also answer questions about business presentations and resumes.


I have worked with words all my life as a teacher of the language and as an amateur and professional writer. Communication is a vital force in my life and everyone else's.

Sigma Delta Chi, NY Press Association, NY Publishers Association

BA in English from the University of Buffalo, MEd in English from SUNY Buffalo, MA in English Literature from SUNY Buffalo. Course work in Journalism from Syracuse Univ., in Linguistics from Rutgers Univ. and Journalism from Univ. of Texas and Ohio Univesrity.

Awards and Honors
Chancellor's Award for Excellence Teaching SUNY, Distinguished Teaching Award SUNY Morrisville, Who's Who in American Journalism Education

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