Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time
Hey, y’all. Have you ever heard of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? No? Neither had I until recently. They’re a band started in 2000 in New York City. I’m not sure about the quality of their music, but I do know that they’re pretty decent spellers. For that, I say “Yea!”
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that today’s topic is two words—“yeah” and “yea”—that are often interchanged and commonly misspelled. Here’s a (poorly drawn) cartoon to help you out:
Yeah = a casual form of yes
Yea = yes (in oral voting; opposite of “nay”); also used to introduce an emphatic phrase or to express enthusiasm
“Yeah” is a favorite of sullen teenage boys; “yea” is reserved for politicians taking a vote, Middle English poets, and perky cheerleaders. So, if you mean to be casual and say yes, you can write “yeah.” If you’re referring to the vote you just cast at the city council meeting, then use “yea.” For an enthusiastic, wholehearted response to your friend’s wonderful news, give it a “yea.” And remember: The one that rhymes with A, ends in A.
I’m betting dollars to donuts that some of you out there are thinking, But, Grammar Belle, what about “yay”? And how about “yah”? My dear readers, neither “yay” nor “yah” is found in Webster’s. And since that’s my dictionary of choice, I don’t use those two. But y’all go right ahead and use ’em all you want (correctly, please), since they can be found in both the Collins and Random House dictionaries.
This post made me reflect, once again, on how crazy this native language of mine can be. It’s a language in which:
No wonder it’s so hard to keep it all straight.
Thanks for stopping by! I think it’s probably time for another comma or quotation mark lesson, don’t y’all think? If you have suggestions or questions, send ’em my way. And send your friends, too, please.