Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not an Aye or a Nay to be heard.

If you have ever listened to an Irishman speak, while being lulled by the lilt of his voice and the colorful use of words, you might have noticed that is rare, if ever, the word yes or no is uttered. You see, they come from an ancestry where their language had no specific words for yes and no. It explains the less than succinct reply you get to an inquiry about something or the round about way of accepting a drink. It may make you feel like you are twisting their arm.

“Can I get you another drink?”
“Ah, I’d better not…”
“You sure?”
“Well, maybe a small one.”

“Did you have a good time?”
“Indeed I did.”

This is something to keep in mind when writing a character of Irish ancestry, even contemporary but especially historical. To make the Characters fit into a period we tend to throw in Aye, yea, or Nay in dialogue. But it would be more accurate to replace all yes and no’s not with Aye and Nay but with a short positive or negative phrase.

*g* And it might come to explain why those of us of Irish decent have a hard time giving a definitive yes or no answer to anything.

Here’s to having a positive lack of anything negative in your lives!


Blogger mamasand2 said...

LOLOL Marissa, My grandmother was 100% Irish catholic, red hair, green eyes, and irish temper on occasion. She had no problem at all saying NO!!!

But that was very interesting, and she was 2 or 3 generations from the "old sod".


8/20/2008 9:14 PM  
Blogger Mechele Armstrong said...

LOL hmmmmm. Maybe that's my problem. Yes, I'm of Scottish ancestry (Armstrong is a family name) but I'm part Irish as well (on my dad's side).

8/30/2008 6:56 AM  

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