Never Had a Yacht, Never Will Have a Yacht: Musings on the Letter Y

“Yacht” is a status word, vessel, and club.  Yachts serve as the secret X-ray decoder rings for the upper class in our society.  I wonder if it is related to the word “yah?”

yah 1 |yä|
nounBrit. informal
an upper-class person: the cafe is full of yahs whose daddies own chateaux in France.
ORIGIN representation of a pronunciation of ‘yes’ in British upper-class speech.

yah 2 |yä, ya|
expressing derision: yah, you missed!
ORIGIN natural exclamation: first recorded in English in the early 17th cent.

Please hang in with me through this paragraph and allow me to let you in on a little secret: if you cannot afford to have a yacht then you cannot afford to be a Republican in today’s Republican party.  There, I did it, I got political.  Sorry.  I have been a life-long Democrat because Dad taught me how to think, and I think about things from a Democratic perspective.  Had my dad been a Republican, there would have been a much greater chance that I would have turned out to be a Republican.  This is the unfortunate part of politics in America.  We too often blindly adopt views because those we care about have those views.  I encourage everyone to look at the issues, find out the facts, and then make your own determination about political positions that issue that make sense from both short and long term perspectives.   I wrote a post earlier this month for the day that covered the letter ” M,” that talked about the importance of fact finding and fact checking.

View of yachts from my room at BlogHer '11


I do some of my best writing when I allow my mind to wander and just yammer on.

yammer |ˈyamər|
noun informal or dialect
loud and sustained or repetitive noise: the yammer of their animated conversation | the yammer of enemy fire.
verb [ no obj. ] informal or dialect
make a loud repetitive noise.
• talk volubly.
yammerer noun
ORIGIN late Middle English (as a verb meaning ‘lament, cry out’): alteration of earlier yomer (from Old English geōmrian ‘to lament’) suggested by Middle Dutch jammeren .

That way I can work in almost anything and go on and on until another inspiration strikes.  I live for inspiration.  I love the little click it makes when it turns on the light bulb over my head.  That is sort of like when I realized I could write about “Y’all,” and “All Y’all.”  Being as I’m a Yankee, I had a lot to learn about the dialects of the South according to Hubby who spent the first few years of his life and every summer from when he started school until he was in High School in Tennessee.  Seems according to colloquial standards y’all is singular, and all y’all is plural and proper usage requires this knowledge.  This is often misunderstood:

y’all |yôl|
you-all |ˈyo͞o ˌôl, yôl|(also y’all )
pronoun dialect
(in the southern US) you (used to refer to more than one person): how are you-all?

What this definition, and I get my definitions from the Apple Dictionary that is I believe is based upon the Oxford American Dictionary,  does not understand is that y’all can refer to a single person or a very small group of people as contrasted with a large group of people that may be made up of other groups.  I love this stuff!  Language is soooo cool.

Sometimes language causes me problems though.  I cannot keep the words yay, yeah, and yea straight when it comes to written language.  I wonder what this says about me neurologically? Hmmm.  Anyway, I digress.  Somewhere along the line someone told me that the positive exclamation was spelled yeah.  I thought the person meant when that when you say,  “Yay! Rah!  Ziff Boom Bah!” that it was spelled y-e-a-h.  It is not.

I think what the person intended to tell me, was that when you intend to make a very informal declaration of positive emotion where you would use the word, yes, if you were using completely proper English, you use the word yeah that has two proper pronounciations:

yeah |ye(ə), ya(ə)|(also yeh )
exclam.& noun
nonstandard spelling of yes, representing informal pronunciation.

An example of this usage would be:  He said, as he placed the cards on the table, fanning the winning hand out for all to see, “Yeah, I think this tops your three of a kind.

The word “yea” comes into my mixed up mix of confusion because, visually, it has more similarity with “yeah” than “yay” in my mind’s eye.

yea 1 |yā|
adverb archaic or formal
yes: she has the right to say yea or nay.
• used for emphasis, esp. to introduce a stronger or more accurate word than one just used: he was full, yea, crammed with anxieties.
noun archaic or formal
an affirmative answer: the assembly would give the final yea or nay.
• (in the US Congress) an affirmative vote.
ORIGIN Old English gēa, gē, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German ja .
yea 2 |yā|
variant spelling of yay2.
yay 2 |yā|(also yea )
adverb informal
(with adjectives of measure) so; to this extent: I knew him when he was yay big.
ORIGIN 1960s: probably a variant of the adverb yea1.

But it sounds just like “yay” but without the emphasis. And that of course is not to be confused with “yay” used as a synomym for the word “so.”  Now do I have you confused?  Sorry.  I’ve always wanted to write about this so as to have a written piece to which I may refer when I get confused about it with all the homonyms and homophones,  which I still sometimes do.  Believe me, when you over-think things like I do, confusion is the modus operandi.

And this discussion doesn’t even bring the confusion Lil Jon brought into the mix, for white folks of my age via Chappelle  (who is a genius!), with “Yay-ahh!”

Oh, and by the way, if you routinely used to watch the Chappelle Show, or use the contraction “y’all” you probably should not vote Republican if you want to vote in your own best interest.

Have a nice flight… er… I mean day!




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