Let’s talk for a moment about the concept of “good people.” And not just as the plural form of “good person” (i.e. “they are good people.”). No, I am talking about the term in the specific context that a single person is referred to as good people plural; i.e. “he/she is good people.” That phrase. What is its significance?
There seems to be a salt-of-the-earth inference, maybe because the quantitative disconnect between subject and object conveys the simplicity of the term as simple-ness in the descriptee.
For some reason, I always envision such a person as being honest. Or trustworthy. I don’t know why.
Likewise, I always picture such an individual as coming from a “good family” (whatever that means). But in my mind, both the family the person “came from” and the person referenced are wholesome and clean. Like, to a fault. And usually hardworking. Again, I don’t know where any of this comes from.
All that being said (most if not all of that being said being indisputably positive), I would personally hate being described as “good people” (i.e. “Dunce Two is good people”). Because, is it just me, or does the term not imply a certain “bumpkin” quality? I mean “good people” of this kind I don’t picture as being particularly passionate. Or fun. Or creative. Or intellectual. All of these qualities, for whatever reason, I put a considerable premium on, for better or worse.
There is also an ambiguity in the term that I don’t particularly care for, “(s)he’s good people” being a lazy substitute for anything specific or genuinely meaningful. It’s like when someone you like refers to you as “nice,” which, with corresponding “but,” spoken or not, never means what you wish it meant (never “you’re nice and I think I am in love with you;” rather “you’re nice but I just want to be friends.” Or worse).
Not that “but” is always bad. I’d prefer a bad quality with a good one to the bland label “good people,” e.g. “he’s distracted, but passionate” or “she’s distant but brilliant.”
Also, I think the “good people” label is often assigned with only the most passing observations or superficial considerations. And I think the outward indications that would earn a person such a label can often be faked. Always opening doors for others, or having a propensity for kissing babies, doesn’t mean anything about the core of your person. At best, it means you enjoy engaging in those behaviors. At worst, it implies you enjoy being perceived as a person that enjoys engaging in those behviors. Is such a person “good people” or a con artist?
It’s easy to seem good. Being good is a different story entirely.