Yea vs Yeah

Yea Definition

Yea, it’s a word used every day, a positive salutation or recognition that answers a question whether answered or not.  Whenever a group of people have come to indecision “yea or nay” prevails in the democratic manner, everyone knows to say yea if it’s yes and nay if it’s no.  It’s that simple in some senses, but there are many different definitions to that three letter word, yea, all that can really be said is it is absolutely positive.  A derivative of “Yes” or the more nonchalant “yeah”, it’s a common English way of expressing yes that is understood the world around.  From South Africa to Britain and The United States of America, yea is universally understood.

As a Salutation

Yea can often be used as a salutation; it is often used as a prefix to explain something.  “Yea, my roof was leaking while I was sleeping and I thought that I was in the biblical days and I was Noah”, in this use “yea” is used to introduce the idea that the speaker wants to address.  It is often used as an appetizer or a form of hors doeuvre to ready listeners’ ears to the following statement.  As a general salutation yea can be used effectively say hello to someone, by simply saying yea one expresses to the addressed person that they have been noticed.  It’s very similar to how people do a neck bow to people that they know, this is a silent way of expressing “yea” to people without being loud, obnoxious or otherwise offensive to other people.  In its use yea is similar to aye in this sense as a way of drawing attention to what a speaker is saying.  This is especially true in older more archaic English such as Shakespearian English such as in the phrase “Yea verily”

As an Acknowledgement

Yea can be used to refer to something that is being acknowledged, for instance when one says “yea” to “It’s on the table” in this sense the one saying “yea” is not actually saying or expressing a positive answer.  What is being expressed is the affirmation that something has been placed on the table and the one answering has observed and noted what has happened.  It seems positive in the a way that 10-4 is used in ten code for use on citizens’ band radio.   In ten code 10-4 can mean both messages received and yes.  When the message has been received 10-4 means yea, stating that what has been said is understood.

Yea or Nay

This is one of the earliest examples of democracy practiced in an aural manner.  This is often said as a way of drawing a vote and possible consensus to a group of people.  For instance when one says “I think we should get another round, yea or nay?” the one asking this is asking the group if they would want another round or not.  Another thing to note in this aural form of democracy is that the fact that one’s vote is exposed for the group, following votes may be swayed in one direction or the other due to the opinion of others that voted before them.  This form of peer pressure is often used to sway the minority parties of the group into doing something that they were not originally set on doing.  In a sense it is a way of manifesting the decision of the vast majority to convince others that may have been indecisive in the start.  Yea or nay is the simplest form of democracy that has been practiced by people even before the term democracy existed in the English vernacular.

Yea as a Typographical Error

Yea is often a typographical error that is committed by those trying to spell “yeah”, “yeah” and “yea” may seem similar in print however their pronunciations are worlds apart.  “Yeah” is a way of saying also an affirmative saying but is far more informal than yea.  This is often overlooked by people these days due to the lax rules in grammar that have been proliferated by technology such as 1337 5p34k (leet speak” and texter slang,  This dilution of the English diction is just the further evolution (or de-evolution by some) of English language in the global understanding.

Yea or Yay

In the modern understanding of spelling yea should be spelled as yay, this is because when it appears as yay it is phonetically spelled out.  This textual interpretation of a positive affirmation is wrong by the standards of the written English language, but has become more common in the vernacular due to the global mingling, and simple phonetic spelling.  Yay is used as a more childish derivative of yea which is practiced over the internet, this trend of misspelling words was brought about by popular culture, namely hip hop.  Words such as dawg, phat (with a PH), sista, brotha, and luv are a way of the urban culture simplifying and reworking an old idea or definition.  When this kind of text seems unintelligible at times what is necessary is to sound things out phonetically to make sense of what has been written.

Yea or Ya

Another common misspelling of yea is yea, this occurs when a writer misconstrues what yea is when sounded out.  This error occurs when yea is understood as yeah as the writer.  Ya is a misspelling of yeah not a misspelling of yea.  In this day and age of more and more media written by the common people were typographical errors are rife it is impossible to undo this misunderstanding.  When reading such texts that use these terms such as ya it is necessary to sound them out phonetically in the mind to assign the proper meaning to the phrase.

Yea as an Exclamation

Often times yeah or yea is a way of exemplifying a great amount of satisfaction or glee.  Yea in this sense affirms that a certain event that has currently occurred is good and commendable.  For instance in “Yea! My stocks went up 30%” yea is said in excitement and exclamation of an achievement and benefice.  It is also often said by people riding beasts of burden to motivate faster motion; saying yea is a way of exciting someone because of its positive understanding.  Conversely however, yea can be used in a sarcastic manner to show dismay in a dry humorous way, such as in the phrase “yea, more work”.

Yea Onomatopoeically

Often yea is used purely as an onomatopoeic term, nothing more than a sound that is used for aural effect.  It is often used in music as a filler word when a vocal solo starts to groove into a scat or pure vocalization.  It is often used in hip hop as a way of keeping the beat especially in freestyle rap where the rappers think of what they are saying off the top of their heads, especially since yea rhymes with a lot of different words.  Sometimes this is used purely as a sound to clear the silence, especially when the silence is unbearable and uncomfortable; yea repeated three times is a way of cutting the silence and interjecting with something to say.

Yes or No, Yea or Nay

This double phrase is often used to further confirm the drawing of a vote for yes or no since both of them mean the same thing.  As with yea or nay, this is often used to sway others in the direction that the one who said “yes or no, yea or nay” wants in the positive direction due to peer pressure.  This may seem coercive in a slight degree but all it really exposes is a subliminal inclination as to what one’s motives are.