Musings from Home

And Then There’s Y’all

Before I published my first post on this here blog, I asked my friend Jen to look it over. She wrote back that all looked good, but because she knows I wouldn’t want to publish it with an error, she pointed out that the apostrophe is after the “y” in “y’all” not after the “a” as I had written it. I thanked her and made the correction, relieved that that glaring mistake had not appeared on my blog.

Several days later, I read this blog on the correct spelling of “y’all” and I wondered, could I possibly still be making the same mistake? Surely not. But just to be sure, I went back and checked all of my blog posts. I hadn’t made that mistake once. I had made it in three different posts.

There was nothing I could do about the people who had already seen it and noticed (I haven’t perfected a memory charm yet), so I corrected it and tamped down my embarrassment. But thanks to Jen’s explanation (twice), I will now remember the rule: Y’all is a contraction for “you all” so the apostrophe goes between the “y” and  the “all”.

We all know how I am about spelling rules. Once it’s drilled in my head, it stays with me forever, even if it is wrong for a particular word, like weird. So now I have it. No worries. Y’all will never again be an issue for me.

Well it’s a darn good thing I have a graduate science degree because it protects me from people thinking I’m an idiot even when I do “airheady” things. Yesterday I wrote a “hey y’all” sort of post on Facebook. After I got my first comment (coincidentally from Jen — and thanks Jen for not pointing out that I am uneducable), I noticed that there in my excited post had crept my second spelling nemesis: YA’LL! Eeeek.

Score a point for y’all, but this battle ain’t over yet.

By the way, what is ain’t a contraction for?

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Comments on: "And Then There’s Y’all" (5)

  1. Well, even in Texas, where y’all is the national word, it is mostly misspelled. So, you are doing just fine. “Ain’t” has something to do with “am not.” But it obviously doesn’t follow any rules. It’s probably a Texas thing too.

  2. Quick research on Wikipedia (I should know better!) shows “ain’t” being used by Dickens.

  3. Krista, Yes, I thought “ain’t” had to do with “am not” also, but if that’s the case, I used it wrong, too. But then again, it’s not a proper word anyway, so I guess that’s OK. 🙂

    • And “y’all” would need to be the “state” word, not national, if I’m talking about Texas. If you look up “ain’t” is has all kinds of meanings. Have not…are not…etc…I think you are right – there is not a wrong way to use it!

  4. “Ain’t” is a contraction of “am not” but can also be used for “is not” or “are not.” While it was considered to be correct and appropriate in the Victorian era, opinion has long since swung the other way and now “ain’t” is considered to be vernacular.

    Gosh, I can be annoyingly pedantic. :-/

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