What Is the Plural of “No” and “Yes”?

What's the plural of "yes" and "no"?

 

Wondering how to spell the plural of no and yes? The answer may not be what you think.

The plural of no is noes.

The vote got thirteen noes.
How many noes will I get before I get a yes?
I heard noes from both candidates

The plural of yes is yeses.

The vote got thirteen yeses.
The yeses outnumbered the noes.
Three yeses later, and the idea is becoming a reality.

Note: Sometimes there is more than one correct way to spell a word. (Yes, I know. I see your jaw dropping.) This is true with yes. Merriam-Webster says you can also spell yeses as yesses and noes as nos.

Example: Yesses are often better than nos.

 

 

Apostrophes and plurals
You may see them spelled as no’s and yes’s. This is incorrect. Remember: apostrophes are almost never used to make plurals.

Erin Servais is a book editor, author coach, and founder of Dot and Dash, an author-services company. To see how she can help you with your writing project, email her at Erin@dotanddashllc.com.

 
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Woah vs. Whoa

flower cat

Well, how obviously amazing is this cat?!

Well, how obviously amazing!

That’s my mnemonic device to remember how to spell “whoa.”

Well
How
Obviously
Amazing

It works because something that is obviously amazing would make you stop and say “whoa.”

It is common to misspell this as “woah,” with the H at the end. Don’t feel bad if that’s what you used to do. I know a certain editor who writes a certain grammar blog who may or may not have also made this mistake. For years. We’re only human . . . even the editors among us (though I suspect authors sometimes think otherwise). And now you know the correct way to spell it. Well, how obviously amazing is that?

Erin Servais is a longtime book editor who is friendly and won’t make you feel dumb, even if you make a silly spelling mistake. To learn more about her services, visit her website: www.dotanddashllc.com

* Okay. Technically . . . the Oxford English Dictionary lists “woah” as a secondary spelling. However, Merriam-Webster has come out publicly against this spelling, and I have personally been dinged rather embarrassingly in public for using it, so I really suggest you stick with “whoa.”

Erin Servais is the founder of Dot and Dash, LLC, an author-services company focusing on women writers and offering a range of editing, coaching, and social media packages.

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Yea, Yeah, Yay

 

"I think our national symbol should be the turkey. Yea or nay?"

“Our national symbol should be the turkey. Yea or nay?”

Today we’re learning about how to spell and use some confusing Y words: yea, yeah, and yay.

Yea
Yea means yes. It is the oldest of the three words, with its first-known use coming before the twelfth century. Now we mostly see yea when reading about voting. For instance, when posed a question, a group may be asked to answer yea (yes) or nay (no). Note that yea rhymes with the word hay.

Example: “Should we have hot dogs for lunch?” the mother asked. “Answer yea or nay.”

Yeah
Yeah is a slang word that also means yes. Yeah is much newer than yea, however, having come into existence in the 1860s. In terms of spelling, yeah and yea are often confused. Remember that unless you’re writing about a public vote, you’ll want to use yeah.

Example: He asked if I wanted to go on a date and I said yeah.

Yay
Yay is often used as an interjection to express excitement and approval. It has the same meaning as yippee or hooray. It appears to have evolved from the word yea and is pronounced the same way.

Example: Yay! We’re going to the zoo!

 

Erin Servais is the founder of Dot and Dash, LLC, an author-services company focusing on women writers and offering a range of editing, coaching, and social media packages.

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Blond vs. Blonde

 

woman in pink blazer with long, blond hair

Go ahead and flip your blond hair.

With blond and blonde, sometimes there’s an E at the end, and sometimes there’s not. This post will teach you the simple rules of which word to use when.

With males—noun usage
If you’re writing about a boy or a man with golden-colored hair, use blond (no E).

Example: The handsome man is a blond.

With females—noun usage
However, if you’re writing about a golden-haired girl or woman, use blonde (with the E).

Example: The pretty woman is a blonde.

With males and/or females—adjective usage
You’ll notice that we have so far been talking about nouns (when we use blond or blonde to represent the person). But what about when you simply want to use an adjective to describe a person as being blond? As an adjective, blond never has an E at the end. It’s always simply blond.

Example: The blond man walked through the door.
Example: The blond woman walked through the door.
Example: The blond family walked through the door.

In the examples above, since blond is used as an adjective to describe the noun (man/woman/family), it follows the adjective rule and doesn’t have an E at the end.

 

Blame the French
Wonder why we have two spellings of this noun? Blame the French. French regularly assigns gender to words and spells them differently based on whether they are masculine or feminine. Since we inherited the word blond/e from French, we also inherited the two ways of spelling it.

Quiz
Test your skills with a quiz. Fill in blond or blonde in the blanks. The answers are at the bottom.

1. The backyard was filled with _______ children.
2. That tall lady is a _______.
3. The man picking his nose is a _______.
4. The _______ dancers twirled across the stage.

Answers: 1. blond (adjective) 2. blonde (noun) 3. blond (noun) 4. blond (adjective)

Erin Servais is occasionally a blonde. She is also lead book editor at Dot and Dash LLC. Learn how to hire her for your next book project: dotanddashllc.com

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