Pet Peeves: Yea vs Yeah

Photo by ~Seizen at DeviantArt.

This has been bugging me for a while.

So, today, I’m going to bring you one of my biggest pet peeves, educate you a little, and see whether you share the same pet peeve, or if it’s something else.

I see the terms ‘yea’ and ‘yeah’ used interchangeably ALL THE TIME. It drives me up the wall. Their definitions are similar, but not the same, and for me, there is a difference. There’s definitely a difference in pronunciation. Since when I’m reading I “hear” the words, this can drive me nuts: on Twitter, on FB posts, in an IM conversation like Skype…

Yea” is an older term. It’s used a lot in formal voting situations, like in Congress. In the political meetings I go to, we typically use the form “aye” but that’s neither here nor there. It’s pronounced like “yay” and can also be used in place of “hurray” or other similar words.

Yeah” is also a form of yes, but it’s more a slang term. You say “yeah” when you’re in agreement. “Yeah, I’m coming.” “Yeah, I agree with you.” It’s pronounced more like “yah“.

See, a little letter “h” can make a huge difference!

So, next time you’re writing, whether a conversation in a book, a FB post, or a text message to your mom, try to get this one little thing right.

And educate others whom you see misusing these words. Without some education, we’re going to lose our unique language!

Until next time,

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11 thoughts on “Pet Peeves: Yea vs Yeah

  1. Right with you. It seems like we are seeing more and more words that have adapted spellings. It's irritating. People are spelling things every which way. In emails, personal writings, fine, but the advertisements drive me crazy. So with ya.

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  2. Thanks for dropping in, J.D.! 🙂 I'm glad I've got someone that agrees with me on this. It really does drive me up the wall.

    I listen to Grammar Girl sometimes on QDnow.com, and she laments the losing of our language periodically. I'm afraid she's right!

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  3. It's definitely irritating. Just like the misuses of “there,” “their,” and “they're.” And these aren't difficult issues to fix, either. It's grammar, not rocket surgery or brain science. 😀

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  4. So if I'm reading this correctly, you would have me believe that yea is a term used only in voting, and shows that you are in agreement with the vote, but yeah, the slang term, which also means you are in agreement, has a different meaning and is the “correct usage.”

    What I find even more amusing is that you are worried that without your “education” we will lose our unique language. Language is an ever evolving thing, and will remain unique whether it adheres to your rules or not.

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  5. Thanks for your comments, Anonymous. My point to this whole post is the fact people misuse these words interchangeably, when they're not as interchangeable as people would be lead to believe. As a writer, I am concerned about the degredation of the language, and believe words mean things. People are misinformed about the meanings, or don't take the time to research the words they are using to clarify the meaning, then our words start having vague meanings.

    I'm not discounting that language evolves. We add words all the time, words fall out of favor and become archaic, etc. But, we need to respect the words we do have and use them properly, if for no other reason to avoid confusion and for clarity.

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  6. I think Anonymous was in a cranky mood that day. The evolution of language is one thing and laziness of writers is another. Due to the proliferation of text media today and the speed that people attempt to employ while using it causes many to employ short cuts in their use of the language. I find that those shortcuts are finding their way into the general use of the written word. News media used to be a solid bastion of correct usage, but, sadly, that too is falling prey to misuse and laziness.

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  7. Ironic, Livery Speidel, you commit my own pet peeve in your most recent reply–people always write lead when they mean to write led. You wrote “lead to believe,” which drives me nuts. Thought I'd post this since it's ironic.

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