Referring to women or mixed-sex groups as “guys” or “you guys” apparently offends a fair number of people. This is interesting to me because I use the phrase a fair amount, especially in class—”Hey guys, now I want you to take out your papers and…”
The problem is that the phrase “you guys” is useful: what non-gendered term could replace it? “Ladies and gentlemen” is old-fashioned, verging on archaic, and “guys and girls” could be demeaning, and I can’t think of a good replacement. “People” or “hey people” is coarse. “You people” has historical/racial baggage of its own—almost enough to have a Coleman Silk problem.