Calling Gals 'Guys'

The Chicago Tribune has an article on calling any group of humans "guys", even if there's ladies in the midst. I'm guilty of it, and I'm not sure it's that big of a deal, but I'm not sure women have thought the alternative through. isn't the opposite of "guys" "girls"? Informal terms for women have tended to be demeaning by modern standards: dolls, chicks, babes, girls; 'ladies' is pretty good, but I think the point is to remove gender from it altogether. Gender neutral isn't something English does well, unless we start using "y'all" *shudder*

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