regular mass-goers and rural folk

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
"regular mass-goers and rural folk" or "regular mass-goers and rural folks"? Which is more accurate English?

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The west of Ireland, while being deeply Catholic, especially in those far off days, was also deeply superstitious. I grew up there as an outsider, (born in the UK), and found that the two are not mutually exclusive but are often found harmoniously side by side in regular mass-goers and rural folk. The subject matter needs no great introduction to you I’m sure, the notion of ‘Changlings’ – where fairies would swap one of their own for one of ours was widespread.

Source: Interpretation of W.B. Yeats - The Stolen Child
http://www.thebeckoning.com/poetry/yeats/yeats2.html
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Some people use it as a term of direct address to mean “people”: “We need to do something about this, folks.” If doesn’t work in your sentence.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It’s not part of my active vocabulary, but I’ve always understood it to mean “parents” specifically.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    It’s not part of my active vocabulary, but I’ve always understood it to mean “parents” specifically.
    That's the way I use it. (Very rarely, though -- usually I would say "parents".)
    Some people use it as a term of direct address to mean “people”: “We need to do something about this, folks.”
    I also use it this way, though almost always preceded by you: "You folks need to hurry up."
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This usage is about a class of people, so it fits definition 2. Note the difference from definition 1 and the contrast between usually and often.

    folk /foʊk/ n.
    1. Usually, folks. [plural; used with a plural verb] people in general: Some folks simply won't take "no'' for an answer.
    2. Sociology Often, folks. [plural; used with a plural verb] people of a specified class or group: Country folk are usually friendly.
    This is definition 4:

    Informal Terms folks, [plural]
    - members of one's family;
    one's relatives: My wife's folks had a big reunion.
    - one's parents: My folks won't let me go to the dance.

    Today's GOP members like to say "folks", which definitely refer to "people."
    This is definition 1. And I'll note that Barack Obama said it all the time.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/johntemplon/confirmed-obama-says-the-word-folks-a-lot
    He’s said the word more than any president since 1929. It’s part of a broader trend towards more conversational public speech. A BuzzFeed News data-analysis.
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I wasn't saying anything except what the dictionary says.

    They are saying the first one usually has an s and the second one usually doesn't.

    I'm fine with that.

    Here are some lyrics from a Hank Williams Jr. song where he includes the s.

    We came from the West Virginia coal mines
    And the Rocky Mountains, and the western skies
    And we can skin a buck, we can run a trout line
    And a country boy can survive
    Country folks can survive

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/genius.com/amp/Hank-williams-jr-a-country-boy-can-survive-lyrics
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    [Edited for tone. DonnyB - moderator]
    I think either one can be used. I suspect, more than anything, it might be a regional variation, where one is more common in certain areas than others. I do think when someone from the big city says "country folk" it can easily sound patronizing.

    If it's okay with Hank Williams, it's okay with me. He's more country than I'll ever be.
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In broad terms,
    folk can be used with a plural concord to mean
    (i) 'people in general' (informal) - "Folk rarely buy ostriches."
    (ii) 'Parents' with a qualifying possessive adjective: " My folk live in Australia"
    (iii) 'a tribe or nationality' - "My folk arrived in this country 40,000 years ago."
    (iv) '[a group of] people distinguished by common factor' - "The folk at the big house are mad."

    In BE,
    folks is mainly used as a dialect term, or colloquially/informally, or to indicate the humour of a rural accent to mean
    (v) 'people in general' - "Folks rarely buy ostriches."
    (vi) 'Parents' with a qualifying possessive adjective: " My folks live in Australia"
    (vii) 'a tribe or nationality' - "My folks arrived in this country 40,000 years ago."
    (viii) '[a group of] people distinguished by common factor' - "The folks at the big house are mad."

    Formally
    (ix) rare: 'tribes or nationalities' - "There are three folks who inhabit the valley; they all arrived in the Iron Age."

    In "The folks who lived in the valley all worshipped this rock", it is unclear as to whether there were several tribes or just 'people'.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    (functioning as plural; often plural in form) people in general, esp those of a particular group or class: country folk
    That's the same as this:
    Sociology Often, folks. [plural; used with a plural verb] people of a specified class or group: Country folk are usually friendly.

    "Often plural in form" is a fancy way of saying, "It's often used with an s on the end." :)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    That's the same as this:
    Sociology Often, folks. [plural; used with a plural verb] people of a specified class or group: Country folk are usually friendly.

    "Often plural in form" is a fancy way of saying, "It's often used with an s on the end." :)
    Certainly not disagreeing with you, but we are discussing whether the OP usage was "accurate" - and it is :D

    The author of the wesite quoted in the OP was born in the UK and is likelt familiar with a decades-old (and still running - since 1951!) radio show called The Archers
    As every fan of The Archers knows, the radio serial is billed as an everyday story of country folk.
    and perhaps the phrase was so closely associated with the show, that the author therefore used "rural" instead:)
     
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