This is my first ever blog. Why am I blogging (and will anyone care)? Well, I think the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was when my sister, Amy, started a blog recently. And, it’s not what you’d think. Sibling rivalry? No, I gave up on that when my mother declared a moratorium on physical violence between the children on the very day I grew to be taller than Amy and then she got like 1590 on the SATs. Rivalry was all downside for me. And, it’s also not because she’s usually about 10 years behind me in technology (she just got a Droid phone to replace her rotary dial phone). No, it’s because her blogs are really funny and interesting. Made me think maybe I could do the same thing. Be funny and interesting that is.
That’s actually a fair bit of pressure – the whole funny and interesting thing. What exactly do I plan to blog about (is blog a verb or just a noun – I’m still kinda new to this blogging thing so I’m not sure)? Probably a bunch of stuff that interests me – sports, politics, religion, sex (I’ll try to keep it PG13 so my kids can read it), and maybe some little stuff that really annoys the shit out of me. Sometimes I may blog (screw it, I’m gonna use blog as a verb) about some really deep serious stuff and other times I may blog in Seinfeldian fashion about nothing. You’ll tell me if any of it is interesting. Which brings me to the topic of my first blog….something really unimportant that annoys the shit out of me.
Have you ever noticed how many people respond in conversation with the phrase “yeah no?” I’m sorry, but what the hell is that all about??? Seriously, I’m no stickler for consistency, but that’s ridiculous. Which is it, yes or no?
Me: “Do you think it was a good move for the Redskins to pick up Donovan McNabb at QB?”
Dopey Friend: “Yeah no, I think he’s a better leader than Jason Campbell was.”
That reminds me, by the way, how much I friggin’ hate that pantload Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Redskins. I don’t know if he subscribes to this whole “yeah no” theory of linguistics, but he has systematically destroyed the thing I love most in life (sorry kids) – the Redskins. But, I digress (warning – I plan to do a shitload of digressing on this blog; if you don’t like that, go up and delete the bookmark you just carefully set right now).
I’m so annoyed by this “yeah no” thing that I decided to do a little Internet research on the topic. Here’s what I learned. Research shows that people use the phrase “yeah no” or it’s equally annoying and contradictory cousin “no yeah” about 0.20 times per million conversational words. Unless you are this dude Neil from the gym I go to, the average conversation is about 900 words per side. Neil is good for easily 9,000 words. And, his preferred time to stand 4 feet away from you and talk for 30 minutes without taking a breath is when he’s buck naked in the locker room. Awwwwwkward.
Anyway, if my math is correct, this means that for the non-Neil conversationalist, there’s about a 0.02% chance you’ll say “yeah no” in any given conservation. Sorry, seems low to me. Also, it turns out that young people “yeah no” more than older people – not surprising given the near total disregard for grammatical ethics demonstrated by today’s youth. Apparently, men “yeah no” more per conversation than women, but that’s mostly because, shockingly, we say about 5-6% more words per conversation than women do (I’m still wrestling with that one, gals).
Some folks really take this to an extreme. I have one friend who I call the “Master of Yeah No” who can rip off like 4 or 5 in a row? As in, “yeah no yeah no yeah no yeah no” all in rapid succession. Depending on what answer I was hoping for from her, my emotions swing wildly during this conversational see saw. And, numbers aside, it just really annoys me. Am I making too much out of this? Well, yeah no.