Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Language 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. It's pronounced like "yay" and can also be used in place of "hurray" or 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.  

This post was originally published at, and remains a popular post on the site.

Liberty Speidel has been a voracious reader since reading her first Nancy Drew book. But she was telling stories long before then with her figurines from Disney's Rescue Rangers. When she's not writing, you may find her gardening, baking, crocheting, or hiking. A lifelong Kansan, she now resides in the Kansas City metro area with her husband, children, and chocolate Labrador.

She blogs periodically at
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  1. Yeah, it's one of my pet peeves too. When it comes to grammar and spelling, I have several pet peeves these days.

    Thanks for the clarification, Liberty.

    1. :) This is, by far, one of my bigger pet peeves. Others are starting to bug me more, especially as I get corrections from editors and crit partners, but it still manages to be one of the most common things I see that drives me nuts.

  2. Thank you for this! Thank you! Yay you!

  3. Thank you. Well said. Drives me crazy. The other one I frequently see in place of "yeah" is "yah"--what is that?!

    Keep fighting the good fight. :-)

  4. yea, yeah is the word. reckon?

  5. Yes, that bugs me too, Liberty. I'm also annoyed that some have started spelling "whoa" wrong -- "woah." A misspelling that came out of nowhere but now seems to be everywhere. Ugh.