Yes vs. I am

Matthew Gordon gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri Mar 24 16:18:05 UTC 2006

I haven't noticed this particularly, but it wouldn't surprise me if some
'educated' people came to favor this usage especially in relatively formal
contexts. After all, prescriptivist usage guides routinely define a sentence
as the expression of a complete thought. Thus, answering a question with "I
am." would be preferred to the incomplete "yes" by this logic.

-Matt Gordon

On 3/24/06 9:52 AM, "Roger Shuy" <rshuy at MONTANA.COM> wrote:

> I've been absent from the List for a few months so I apologize if this topic
> already has been discussed.
> Has anyone else noticed what seems to me to be a turn toward answering
> yes/no questions with "I am," "I will," "I'm not," and "I won't" as opposed
> to "Yes" or "No." Not even "Yes I am," "Yes I will," "No  I'm not," or "No I
> won't." I have no hard data to back this impression but I believe I am
> hearing it used mostly by relatively educated people in a wide range of
> contexts. Has anyone else sensed this?
> Roger Shuy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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