You aren’t reading that wrong – Yippee Aye Kay, y’all! This is my little cowgirl and that is how she exclaims her cowgirl joy.
Several months ago, I was watching TV in my bedroom when a strange sound came from the other room. I muted the TV to get a better listen – it was my sweet little girl playing cowgirl…Yippee Aye Kay, Yippee Aye Kay, Yippee Aye Kay, y’all – over and over again she kept hollering her battle cry. I peeked around the corner to see what actions were accompanying her yelps – she had her cowboy hat on her head and was galloping around the room on her “horse” (a small red broom) – Yippee Aye Kay, Yippee Aye Kay, Yippee Aye Kay, y’all.
Since this episode months ago, she continues to insist that Yippee Aye Kay is the proper phraseology for this exclamation. No amount of explaining that the proper pronunciation is Yippee Ki Yay will sway her.
We don’t watch a lot of 1930s cowboy movies in our home, and I’m fairly certain she has never seen nor overheard Die Hard. To be honest, I really don’t know where she even got the idea for the exclamation; but where ever she got it, I love it!
For one it is hilarious, but more importantly it reminds me that sometimes you just have to say things your own way in order to make yourself memorable. History is full of writers and orators who intentionally (or unintentionally) “messed up” the proper use of words to make their point. Shakespeare, Jane Austin, and Yogi Berra to name just a few.
That’s the great thing about language – it is fluid and bendable. Each year dictionary companies like Webster’s and Oxford, add words to their pages that were developed just through this method of intentionally messing up, smashing together, or flat out creating words that have made their way into the zeitgeist. Case in point, 2015 saw the addition of “Awesomesauce” (which my spell check still underlines as wrong) to the Oxford dictionary.
I’m a grammar fanatic, but even my obsession with correct speech is rendered useless in the face of a truly inspired bungling of the English language when said bungling is done to great affect. So, get out there and mess around with language. Mix metaphors and dangle participles. English can handle it, and you might just introduce the new “Awesomesauce” to the world.
So with that being said…
“I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary.” ~ Yogi Berra
And Yippee Aye Kay, y’all!