Anxious or Eager?

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anxious: characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear about some contingency
Merriam-Webster

“I am so anxious to see you!”

How many times have you heard or said this? Most of the time, anxious was probably not the word to use.

Say your best friend is about to arrive for an out-of-town visit. You are more likely to be eager or excited for her visit than anxious. Anxious has a negative connotation. Anxious means you are in a fit of hand-wringing nervousness, considering all that could go wrong. If you are simply happy for your friend to come and are expecting the trip to go smoothly, then you are not anxious; you are just excited and eager.

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Here are examples of anxious, excited, and eager used the correct way:

I am excited to get my package in the mail.
I am eager for my trip to the Bahamas.
I am anxious that this airplane will crash.

Note that the first two sentences have positive connotations, and the second has a negative connotation.

Can these words be interchangeable?
There has been a trend of using anxious, eager, and excited interchangeably. However, I still think there should be a distinction. Remember that anxiety is a medical condition, which often requires medication and treatment. It can be a very serious and life-altering condition for those who have it. Using the word so casually (and incorrectly) downplays, in my opinion, its severity. People who don’t have anxiety already tend to not understand how difficult living with a form of anxiety can be. Misusing it in our speech adds to this confusion.

Quiz
In each sentence is the word anxious. Determine in each sentence if the word is used correctly.

1. Edwin is anxious that his dinner plans will fall through.
2. Edwin is anxious to eat his ice cream.
3. Edwin is anxious for the first day of school, thinking of all that could go wrong.
4. Edwin is anxious to open his birthday present.

Answers:
1. correct 2. incorrect 3. correct 4. incorrect

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.

Sign up for the Dot and Dash newsletter to get writing tips and tricks and exclusive deals.  

Follow Dot and Dash on social media.
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Feet vs. feat

feet: plural of foot
feat: a deed notable especially for courage; an act or product of skill, endurance, or ingenuity
—Merriam-Webster

Feet and feat are homophones, which means they sound the same but have different meanings. Feet can mean the unit of measurement or the two body parts dangling from the bottom of your legs. Feat is an act you do that deserves awe.

Examples of feet
Stan bought three feet of licorice.
Stan’s feet are huge; he wears a size fifteen shoe.

Examples of feat
Stan pulled quite a feat when he finished his twelve-page paper in three hours.
Stan’s epic battle against the zombies was a courageous feat.

Quiz
Fill in either feet or feat in the blanks below. The answers are at the bottom.

1. Tina’s _______ can’t fit in my shoes because they’re too small.
2. Tina’s _______ of getting eight guys’ phone numbers in one night will go down in history.
3. Tina’s tape measurer goes to four _______.
4. “Wow! What a _______!” Tina said after she witnessed a stranger fend off a mugger.

Answers:

1. feet 2. feat 3. feet 4. feat

You and I vs. you and me

It seems many of us are still reeling from elementary school teachers who overcorrected use of the pronoun I. How many times did you hear a knitted-sweatered, thin-lipped woman of authority say, “It’s ‘May Johnny and I go to the restroom, not Johnny and me.’”

As a result, many people think me is never appropriate when it actually is. If this is a problem you struggle with, don’t worry. You’re in good company. I hear and I used incorrectly more than I hear it used correctly. In this post I’ll teach you a simple trick to figure out when to use I or me.

Is this sentence correct?

I made dinner reservations for Rex and I.

Incorrect. In this sentence it should be Rex and me. But how can you tell?

Hint: To find out whether to use I or me, simply drop the name or pronoun that goes before and and the word and. Then see if the sentence makes sense. Let’s look at the example again.

I made dinner reservations for Rex and I.

Now drop Rex and.

I made dinner reservations for I.

 

 

Now this sentence sounds wrong, so you know it should be me. Let’s fix it.

I made dinner reservations for Rex and me.

Bingo! Now it’s correct. Let’s try another one.

Rex and me are going to the Renaissance festival.

Drop Rex and.

Me is going to the Renaissance festival.

This sounds wrong, so you know it should be I.

Rex and I are going to the Renaissance festival.

Between you and me
The phrase between you and me is often said incorrectly as between you and I. Between is a preposition, and me is used with prepositions. Here are more prepositions with me:

with: Rex walked with you and me.
to: Rex gave the present to you and me.
from: The letter is from you and me.
between: Between you and me, I think Rex is cute.

If you see a preposition, you know you should use me.

Quiz
Test your skills with this quiz. Fill in the blank with either I or me. The answers are at the bottom.

1. Sandra and _______ are good friends.
2. Would you like to go to the party with Sandra and _______?
3. The flowers are for my mom and _______.
4. Between you and _______, I’m ready for the weekend.
5. She set the appointment for Sandra and _______.
6. May Rex and ______ go to lunch with you?
7. Rex and _______ want to treat you to lunch.

Answers:
1. I 2. me 3. me 4. me 5. me 6. I 7. I

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Aisle vs. isle

Isles, not just for screen savers anymore.

Isles, not just for screen savers anymore.

aisle: a) a passage (as in a theater or railroad passenger car) separating sections of seats
b) a passage (as in a store or warehouse) for inside traffic
isle: island
—Merriam-Webster

These words are prime targets for errors because they are spelled the same way, minus the beginning A in aisle. Luckily, there is an easy way to remember which is which. Note that isle and island start with the same three letters.

Examples:
Robby tripped in the office’s aisle.
Theo can’t wait to visit the tropical isle.

The bride looked ravishing walking down the aisle.
She and her new husband will vacation on an isle.

Quiz
Fill in the blanks with either aisle or isle. The answers are at the bottom.

  1. Becky stood in the room’s _______, chatting with her friends.
  2. Next year, Jessie will spend a month in the British _______s.
  3. Clean up in _______ five!
  4. Beatrice enjoyed island life on the ______.

Answers:
1. aisle 2. Isle 3. aisle 4. isle