rainfall: A pair of hands holding an ornate teacup. The red fingernails and green shirt match the teacup's design. (teacups)
Yeah: "Yeah, right, I know just what you mean."
Yay: "Whoohoo! That was awesome!"
Yea: "Verily, good sir, I vote yea!" (Opposite of nay. Yea and nay rhyme.)

Feel free to add "yay" to your online dictionaries. Webster's has it and silly derivatives like "yaycation" (a vacation so delightful and exciting that it makes you yell, "yay!").

Plurk is not helping us out by using "(yea)" when they obviously mean "yeah", but just try to remember that that is not the correct spelling of the word they mean.

Also, I am using the chiefly-British-convention with my quotation marks. The American system where punctuation goes within them (except the ?), regardless of whether that punctuation is part of the quote, has never made sense to me.
rainfall: A windowpane from the inside; covered in raindrops, a blur of cityscape beyond the glass (rain on a window)
Also, in an earlier RwV post, someone called Stephenie Meyer's persistent comma abuse the "Oxford" or "serial" comma. Spoiler: This is incorrect. You're shocked, I know.

Grammar quick tip: The Oxford comma is the final comma in list of three or more items. (This "list" aspect might make "serial" a more memorable name!) It's the optional comma that comes before the and.

Bella, Edward, and Jacob went to the amusement park.

The Oxford comma is the comma after Edward. The sentence could also be written as:

Bella, Edward and Jacob went to the amusement park.

I like the Oxford comma because it allows for distinctions like this:

Bella went to the amusement park with her friends, Edward, and Jacob.

In that sentence, Bella's friends are not Edward and Jacob, but possibly some of the filler characters from the book: Jessica, for example. Alice might also be coming along in this example. Without the Oxford comma, you lose that distinction:

Bella went to the amusement park with her friends, Edward and Jacob.

It's no longer clear who went to the amusement park. Maybe Edward and Jacob are Bella's friends and the comma is an appositive. (An appositives is additional information about the most recent noun, enclosed in commas: Edward, the extremely old vampire, is Bella's boyfriend.) Only consistent use of the Oxford comma allows for clarity in this sentence.

Meanwhile, this is a typical Stephenie Meyer comma abuse pileup:

Bella brushed her hair, and ate a sandwich before going to the amusement park.

That's not an intentional comma: that comma is reflexive. Stephenie Meyer knew the word "and" was coming next and put in a comma just to be safe. But commas only come before the word and in a list of three things or between two independent clauses. This works:

Bella brushed her hair, and she ate a sandwich.

Because Bella brushed her hair and She ate a sandwich are both full sentences all on their own.

This doesn't:

Bella brushed her hair, and ate a sandwich.

Because Ate a sandwich is not a full sentence.

If Stephenie Meyer were a better writer, something like this would be acceptable:

Bella brushed her hair, and walked out the door.

Why? Because those are two very separate actions and the comma gives you a tiny pause between them, creating the illusion of time passing. There's an almost tactile sensation in the sentence if you read it out loud: it sounds as if going out the door is a very final, almost climactic thing.

But Stephenie Meyer is not a better writer. She should really, really stick to the basic forms before she tries to do things for effect. You need to know the rules to know when and how to break them, and Stephenie Meyer's usage of this comma almost never reads as intentional. She's just using that comma because she has never fully understood the distinction between independent and dependent clauses.

FYI, ReasoningWithVampires is a great refresher on all aspects of grammar, and you should check it out even if you don't care about Twilight one way or the other.

June 2017



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