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Yes no

Posted by Lotg on December 07, 2004

There has been some discussion lately in Australia re the use of 'yes no' in sentences. Usually they begin the sentences this way.

Here's an example of how it goes: "I heard you did well in your exams last week?" "Yes no, it was a tough one, but I got through."

The talk here is that this is purely an Australian idiosyncrasy. Is that correct?

It is definitely a peculiar thing and I often hear replies to questions answered this way. There was a long debate over why, a few weeks ago, and the suggestion was that when people are answering the question, they're having a debate in their own minds. eg. In the case of the example above that I provided, the person is thinking, well, yes, I did well, but no, not as well as I would have liked cos it was a tough exam. And somehow that translates into one of those strange 'yes no' responses.

So, after all that, my question is: Is this really just an Australian thing, or do people elsewhere say this too? --GODDESS