How do you spell the plural of “you”? Whitey Bulger needs to know

This is from the Fox News transcript of Whitey Bulger’s statement at his trial yesterday:

And my thing is, as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial, and this is a sham, and do what youse want with me. That’s it. That’s my final word.

The Boston Globe‘s online version of the statement also spells the word youse.  But the headline of its print edition this morning spells it yous.  Online, ABC News also spells it yous, while NBC News sanitizes it to you.

I would have spelled it youse.  Or maybe even you’se.  Google Ngram Viewer gives a slight lead to yous lately, but that might be because yous gets credit for thank-yous.  Youse had a big lead in American English from 1900-1940, and you’se had the lead briefly in the 1860s before falling back to third place.

I wonder if the Globe and other newspapers have the word in their style guides  It probably doesn’t come up that often, but it pays to be prepared.  You never know when you’re going to get another Whitey Bulger.

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“If I had a sister like you, I would have killed myself, too.”

Those South Boston folks have a way of cutting to the heart of the matter.

However, with Connors’s reference to the 1984 death of her brother, David, Greig’s composure crumpled. She gasped when Connors spoke and then put her hands to her face and mouth – and started to cry. It took her several minutes to regain her composure.

In March, Greig said in open court that she had sought psychiatric counseling after her brother shot himself to death.

This was the only remark from the victims that caused Catherine Greig any visible emotion at her sentencing yesterday.

The mugshot

The whole Whitey Bulger saga is too improbable for fiction, but Greig is one of the most improbable characters in it.  She was Bulger’s second choice to accompany him in his life on the lam.  He first left town with his “common-law wife,” Theresa Stanley.  But Stanley decided she’d rather be with her children, so Bulger turned to Greig, his emergency backup girlfriend.  And she apparently didn’t give a second thought to dropping the rest of her life so that she could go on the run with the mobster.  She took  care of him for 16 years.  And now she doesn’t even get her on Wikipedia page, only a section in Bulger‘s.  And eight years in prison in which to reminisce about all the good times she had with her man:

The man once suspected of gallivanting through Europe had been holed up in the same rent-controlled apartment for at least 13 years, staying up late into the night watching television in his living room with black curtains drawn. When he finally went to bed, the aging gangster slept alone in the master bedroom – windows covered in opaque plastic sheeting – while his girlfriend used the guest room.

I dipped into this world just a little bit in Senator (did I mention that the ebook is now available?).  The IRA gun-running subplot is loosely based on the story of the Valhalla, recounted here. The book I read about the Valhalla suggested that a young guy who was a member of Valhalla’s crew and later disappeared had been murdered by British spies.  We now know he was tortured and killed by Bulger and his cronies because he was a snitch.

Great guys.