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  1. Scattercat

    Scattercat Active Member

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    Aye? Quick question.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Scattercat, Sep 21, 2008.

    Is it "Aye-aye, sir" or "Aye, aye, sir?" or "Aye aye, sir?"

    I have no idea, and Google/Wikipedia have been unhelpful (though I did learn about the aye-aye, which is apparently that thing that sang the "Move it, Move it" song in Madagascar.
     
  2. Daedalus

    Daedalus Active Member

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    It's "Aye aye, sir".
     
  3. Blossom

    Blossom New Member

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    See now I would have thought it was "Aye aye, Cap'n!"

    But that's just me :p

    So, yes, I would go with "Aye aye, sir!"
     
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Or simply, "Aye, sir." Does any branch of any military actually use "Aye aye"?
     
  5. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the nit-picky correct punctuation would be with 2 commas... just as it would be if it were 'yes, yes' or 'no, no'... and of course there would have to be another comma before the person being addressed...

    the double went out of fashion as the norm some time ago, though some may still use it today...
     
  6. Nilfiry

    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Probably just another writer's preference since modern writing has alot of unconventional stuff. Just keep it consistent.
     
  7. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's what I thought.

    On the other hand, if you are writing a period piece, then the double "aye" would be appropriate.
     
  8. Daedalus

    Daedalus Active Member

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    Military forces still use the double version, though it's mostly a naval term. From what I've read, there is no comma after the first aye.
     
  9. Scattercat

    Scattercat Active Member

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    It's purely a humorous usage anyway. I just wanted to know how to punctuate it properly, because even if my character isn't a grammar pedant, I am. :)
     
  10. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Grammatically, there should be a comma ("aye, aye, cap'n") because it's a repeat. But, because the character doesn't actually pause there when speaking, I wouldn't bother putting a comma. "Aye aye, cap'n."

    I'm no expert, but there's my $.02
     
  11. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if there's no comma, i'd use a hyphen... to me, using nothing doesn't look right and isn't right...
     
  12. Daedalus

    Daedalus Active Member

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    Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn, and Jack Higgins all use "Aye aye, sir".

    It's said quickly, almost as though the two ayes are one word.
     
  13. NaCl

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is one of those phrases where I would not fault a writer for either format. I think both read correctly and there is not much sense in making a big deal out of it. All I would do as a writer is to be consistent throughout the story.
     
  14. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and it might not be the writer's choice anyway, as many publishers impose their own house style on such stuff...
     

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