I have certain words that drive me insane! Mostly because although they sound the same, they do not necessarily mean the same things.
Take Yay, Yea, and Yeah.
You pronounce yay in the same way you pronounce yea, which makes these two words homophones—indistinguishable when spoken and easily confused when written. They have different meanings, though. While yea is the word we sometimes use for yes, yay is the word we use to express joy, approval, or excitement.
The origins of yay are difficult to pin down—some sources say it came from yeah, others say it came from yea.
Yeah: in modern times is a less formal way to say yes. But good old YAY! Still is solely used to express happiness and joy!
There is also the problem of Their, There, and They’re.
Their: is the possessive case of the pronoun they, as in “They left their cell phones at home.”
There: is an adverb that means “in or at that place,” as in “She is there now.” In this sense, there is essentially the opposite of here. There is also used as a pronoun introducing a sentence or clause, as in “There is still hope.”
They’re: is a contraction of the words they and are, as in “They’re mastering the differences between these homophones!”
I do so love playing with the English language. I know I make so many mistakes, and when I look up to find answers, I hope I will retain what I learned.
And an English Professor once told me I was an “over-explanation-pointer” when I write! Imagine that!!!