The word "guys" has been used forever in referring to a group of people. It has evolved into a generic term that no longer refers to a person's gender or sexuality. "Guys," it's all-inclusive.

Unless, of course, you are looking for a reason to be offended – and there are many of those folks out there looking to cry foul because their feelings have been hurt.

The debate over the use of the word "guys" reached a fever pitch last week when Jeff Probst, the host of the long-running CBS reality show Survivor, practically begged this season's contestants to take issue with the term. It's a term he's used for 21 seasons to call contestants on to the set for challenges. At first, no one admitted to being offended by the use of the term "guys," but later in the broadcast, one of this season's players who identifies as LQBTQ confessed that he indeed found it offensive.

That was enough for Probst, who seemed anxious to address the issue. “It’s a great point and I’ve got to say I love that you thought about it more,” Probst said. “I love that you have the courage inside a million-dollar game, in which standing up any time is risky, to bring it up again, because I’m with you. I want to change it. I’m glad that was the last time I will ever say it.”

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Probst got roasted on social media, where the consensus was that the moment of wokeness felt forced and unnecessary. If Probst wanted to stop using the term "guys," he could have done so without uttering a word. It was a "hey, look at me" kind of thing that felt odd and weird.

I, for one, will continue to use the term "guys" in referring to a group of people. I know no one who feels this is a real controversy or that is offended by the use of the term. We could spend all day deleting commonly used words and phrases from our vocabulary and still, someone would find a reason to be offended these days.

Poet John Lydgate once wrote, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time”. Yeah, what he said. In the meantime, carry on, guys!

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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