If you’re from the southeast, you know the word for second person plural is ya’ll. We don't say you guys, you-all, youse, y’uns or yins.
Not that there's anything wrong with yins. It's just that when Southerners are talking to more than one person, ya’ll is our go-to pronoun. There's no debate on how to use it; but spelling "ya'll" is another story. Let's talk usage first. It works like this:
Do ya’ll want some moon pies?
If we’re talking to a bunch of folks, we might say, all ya’ll. Do all ya’ll want moon pies?
Or, for emphasis: ya'll ALL. Do ya’llALL want moon pies?!
Possessive gets interesting. We say ya'll's. Are those ya'll's moon pies?
(Don't get me started on whether or not to use the apostrophe with the "s." I can only pretend to know one thing at a time and right now I'm pretending to know how to spell ya'll.)
Okay. Before you go all nutty about how I misspelled ya'll 13 times (so far) consider this:
There are two camps on the spelling of our little pronoun. In the southeast, you'll see a lot of folks going with ya’ll. In the other, more populated camp, you've got the dictionary spellers. They go with y'all.
So why do some southerners (including Mr. Faulkner and Mr. Hemingway) eschew the dictionary spelling and choose "ya'll"? Here's one thought on the subject:
In the old south, ya was the common slang for “you”.
Did them 14 cousins go fishin' with ya?
Were ya in one boat?! Are yacrazy?
When we said ya'll, we were making the contraction for ya + all. And we spelled it (correctly) ya'll.
When our handy southern pronoun was added to the dictionaries, however, the dictionary folks didn't make a contraction for yaall. They made one for you all, and spelled it (correctly) y’all.
See that? There's a case to be made for both spellings.
Clearly I'm not a sociological linguist; I don't claim to be one. I'm not even an official grammarian, which sounds like somebody who eats Grandmaws.
Here’s the thing. If you spell it the old way, folks (including some southerners) are gonna wag fingers and say you're ignorant and you should consult a dictionary. And spell check is gonna be all up in your grill about it.
But neither one is wrong (yet), so before Webster moves it from "less preferred" into obscurity, you might want to take the opportunity to use the original, dare I say correct, spelling.