I have recently realized a grievous error that I have committed time and time again. I have been using yeah when I should have been using yay (say like hay). The horrors. Apparently yeah is pronounced with a soft a and a schwa. (I just pulled schwa out of a dark recess in my brain.) Actually, I intentionally used yeah because that looks like how I say the word. I if actually sit and say the word over and over (which I did just a minute ago) yeah is spelled much more like I say it than yay. Maybe it’s the southern drawl seeping out of a Yankee.
I have also used yah a lot and it’s not even in my dictionary. I use it to mean yah, sure, go ahead. Or yah, I did it again. Apparently I am supposed to be using yea or yeah. But then it looks like I’m saying “yippee, I did it again.” When I truly am saying “Oh hell, you caught me, I did it again.” I should just be thankful it’s not “Oops, I did again.”
It’s gotten to the point that I have to stop and reread a sentence containing one of these words to make sure I understand how the author meant it to be used. I’m not the only one out there making mince meat pie of these handy Y utterances.
According to The American Heritage Dictionary:
Yah: does not exist.
Yeah: adverb informal yes.
Yea: adverb Yes, aye. Indeed, truly.
Yay: interjection used as an exclamation of pleasure, approval, elation, or victory.
Yippee: interjection Used to express joy or elation.
Yippie: noun A member of a group of politically radical hippies, active especially in the late 1960s. (Just threw this one in to see if you were paying attention to today’s lesson.)
So for my own sanity, I am going to try remember to use yeah instead of yah. I will try to remember to use yay when I am interjecting, because though I do use yippee sometimes to interject, it seems to be a much more juvenile interjection. In some instances, it is perfect. In others, it would detract from the situation needing interjection.
Huh, who would have thought a few little letters could be so confusing. Or maybe it’s just me.
(After rereading this a couple times in an attempt to make sense, I have lost all ability to say any of these little Y words. I hope time helps to unjumble my brain.)