At EducationBug.org we have recently added several new articles including a few on commonly misused words like yea vs yeah, and insure vs ensure. We also offer a number of articles on commonly misspelled words like separate vs seperate. It is important for everyone to develop good communication skills in order to have the best job opportunities and educational advancement opportunities. Many of the most commonly misused words come about because of slurred or unclear speaking, a pattern of misuse within a family, community, or area, or learned misuse through incorrect teaching.
A prime example of commonly misused words include yea vs yeah. These words are so commonly misused that many people don’t even know the meaning of both words and use them interchangeably. Included in the mix is “yay” and “ya”. Common misuse or misunderstanding about the usage of these words often happens when agreeing with someone and when declaring excitement about something. “Yeah” is the correct word to use when agreeing with someone or answering yes to a question. You get a text saying “Are you coming?”, you should reply with ”Yeah, will be there shortly”. Many people will reply with simply ”ya” which is slang for “you” but should not be used to mean “I agree” or “yes”. Or they will reply with “yea” thinking they are saying “yeah”.
“Yea” means to give an affirmative answer or vote in favor of something. Many votes will be counted by the number of yea verses nay responses or yes vs no. “Yay” is commonly used when someone is showing excitement and is often accepted to mean the same thing as “yea”. Yay, however, is not technically even a word. This mistake is probably most often made because when some people say ”yea” they make a ”y” sound at the end of the word so when they try to spell it, “yay” seems correct. This could probably be considered the best or most accepted type of misuse, in regards to these specific words, simply because it is commonly accepted and is not in fact another word with a completely different meaning like “ya” and “yeah”.
While it may not seem like a big deal whether or not you are using the correct word or correct spelling of a word, old habits die hard. If you use a word incorrectly for any length of time and then have to try and use it correctly, you may use it incorrectly without even realizing it. The more people that make the distinction and start using yea, yeah, and ya correctly, the easier it will be for new learners to make the distinction. Too often, we as parents teach our children the wrong thing simply because we don’t know or recognize that we are doing it wrong ourselves.
Check out our commonly confused words page to learn more about some of the other words that are commonly misused and misspelled. The earlier children learn them correctly the more natural it will be for them throughout their education, career, and life to use them correctly. If a child is already struggling with reading, spelling, or other related subjects you may not want to make a big deal or put a big focus on these issues yet, but keep in mind that making sure you always use these words correctly will make it a more natural part of their learning process without having to put a big push or focus on it.