Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “The Coasters”

#AtoZ, 2014: Y is for Yadda, Yadda, Yadda and Yakety Yak.

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

And the beat goes on… Y day in the #AtoZ. Yadda, yadda, yadda. It’s all been said before.

Yadda, yadda, yadda as a term doesn’t make it into print resources like the American Heritage Dictionary or Garner’s Modern American Usage, but you can find it on the Internet in the Urban Dictionary  and English Daily:

A phrase that means “and so forth” or “on and on;” it usually refers to something that is a minor detail or boring and repetitive. English Daily

When telling about a happening in your life, you might not want to give all the details because that would make your story too long and too boring. Instead, substitute “yadda, yadda, yadda” for the boring and repetitive parts and get to the most important, more interesting parts.

Although the phrase yadda, yadda, yadda was coined by Lenny Bruce in the 1960, Seinfeld later made this phrase popular in this clip: Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Synonyms for yadda, yadda, yadda:

yakety yak  The Coasters sang this popular song, Yakety Yak, when I was in high school college a while ago.

et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  Yul Brynner, in the popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I, tells Deborah Kerr this:

When I sit, you sit.
When I kneel, you kneel.
Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera.

The Last Meow

yadda cat 2 cheezburger.c omyadda cat  Cheezburgr

Janice Hall Heck, retired educator, blogger, and nitpicky editor of On the Horizon, a bi-monthly community newsletter for Horizons at Woods Landing, Mays Landing, NJ, is quite possibly a grammar geek.

logo 2.2Oh Heck! Another Writing Quirk,  theme for the amazing 2014 A to Z Challenge, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.

Look for a list of posts for the #AtoZ, 2014 Challenge (Writing Quirks) here:  #AtoZ: Q is for Quirky Index and a Q Post Round-Up

Meow for now.  =<^!^>=

Here’s another Y post for you (2013)   Y is for…Your, You’re, Y’all, Ya’ll, Yall, You All, You Guys, and Yakety-Yak


Y is for…Your, You’re, Y’all, Ya’ll, Yall, You All, You Guys, and Yakety-Yak

a-to-z-letters-2013Y-Day in the A to Z Challenge.  Twenty-five letters finished. One to go.

Y has been a struggle for me. I listed possibilities, but none inspired me. Here’s a round-up of my thoughts.

1. Your (possessive), you’re (contraction, you are)

These two Y words are brutalized regularly all over the Internet, but writing about them again won’t make a bit of difference. These two commonly confused words (your and you’re) are right up there with its and it’s; and there, they’re, and their. All frequently confused.

When I see these errors I think, “Are you smarter than a third grader?”  If you are, then take the time to straighten out these classic mix-ups. Of course, I am preaching to the choir now. Right?

2. Y’all, ya’ll, yall, you all.

This topic had some possibilities. Regional English.  Look at this linguistic map of the United States. It’s amazing how many different American Englishes exist.

linguistic map

I thought about giving one example of regional English, the word y’all, but checked on Grammar Girl, and she has already written a long piece about it. (Click here to read it.) I guess I can’t write about that. I could talk about my Texas relatives, and how they use y’all, as in y’all come on down and visit. That sounds nice when they say that.

Bryan A Garner, a southerner, has written almost a full page on y’all, ya’ll,  yall, and you all in Garner’s Modern American Usage (2009). He reports that y’all is the correct form of this regional (southern) usage, used even by highly educated speakers. Ya’ll is a misspelling. Yall has been used by some writers, although this spelling is not widespread and is not recommended. He also suggests the use of you all as perhaps the way to avoid raising northern eyebrows.

Serious questions arise about y’all. Is it singular or plural? If it is singular, how do you say the plural? Let it be known that there have been heated debates over this question!

3. You guys.

You guys? *shudder* Garner says this phrase is now replacing you all in urban areas outside the South and Southwest.

Garner cites Steve Blow, a writer for Dallas Morning News (27 Sept. 2002), who called the term you guys a “horrid Yankee construction.” I must say I agree with that!

The first time I heard this informal phrase, I remember disliking it intensely.  I was observing in a classroom, and a teacher called her students to attention by saying, “You guys should put your work away now and get ready for lunch.”

Are girls guys? Being politically correct these days means you can’t use the phrase guys and gals or guys and dolls. Please. That would be offensive. So evidently when speaking to a mixed sex group, in popular English, the term you guys can now be used informally.

What’s the plural of you guys? You guyzez? What about the plural-possessive form? Youse guyzes’? Or how about youse guys’s for the plural-possessive form? Who knows what will come next in our language.

Then one day, it happened.  I caught myself using the term you guys when working with a group of teenagers in a drug and alcohol rehab program. Ugh. That’s how language changes. We hear a word or phrase so many times that it slithers into general language usage, and we are hardly aware of it happening. But I was aware of it and vowed to never use that phrase again.

4. Yakety-yak.Yakety Yak...Coasters

The dictionary is handy in the A to Z Challenge. When you get stuck on a letter, you can scan the dictionary for ideas. I scanned the Y section and came upon yak (animal), yak-yak (slang for too much talk), and yakety-yak. That roused my memories of The Coasters singing, “Yakety Yak, Don’t Talk Back,” a song from many years ago. Of course, I started to sing it. My husband, off in another room of the house, laughed and asked, “What on earth caused that outburst?”

He should know by now that I am working on the A to Z Challenge, and that any weird thing I say or sing  has to relate to The Challenge.

A to Z does that to you.

Listen to Yakety Yak here.

cats bunchThe Last Meow.

Y words? Why didn’t you ask us kitties for a Y topic? We have tons of Y words. Just look up Y names for kittens on Internet, and you can find hundreds like Yo-Yo, Yum-Yum, Yanisha, Yasmin, Yassar Aracat, and Ying and Yang, and lots more. You could have done your whole post on kitty cat names. Next time, ask us for advice, would ya?

Meow for now. =<^;^>=

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