Would you please say AYE? [=vote 'yes'?]

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

Someone sent me a link; it's about a vote to start a "National Vegetarian Day" in China, I then sent this link to many people and asked:

Would you please say AYE?

I wonder if it's natural to say so. I want them to vote a yes so that this bill could be passed.
 
  • Guy de Maupassant

    New Member
    English - Canadian
    In court proceedings or democratic choices made by a group, the word "aye" I suppose would be accepted as natural, but to me it sounds rather old-fashioned. "Aye" simply means yes, but for those who are not very familiar with English, they might be puzzled by it.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    In the context of asking someone to vote for something it makes sense, although I think it sounds a little old-fashioned nowadays and its use is mainly now confined to formal votes.

    In the OP's context I'd have just asked: "Would you please vote for it?"
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It would make more sense to say "please vote 'aye'"
    :thumbsup:

    The British House of Commons divides into "Ayes" and "Noes". In a meeting I'd not be surprised to hear "ayes", but not as you have used it: "Will all the 'ayes' raise their hands. Thank you. And the 'noes'."
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Would you please say AYE?

    I wonder if it's natural to say so.
    No, it isn't natural. "Aye" only works where there is a tradition of using "Aye" as a method of agreeing with a proposition in a formal setting. Outside these circumstances, the use of "aye" is not idiomatic at all and the use is obsolete or humorous - and from a non-native speaker, is likely to be misunderstood as a mistake.

    That said, several dialects of English use "aye" to mean "yes" casually/colloquially in order to agree with a previous statement:

    A: "Oh... wait... Let's have a rest. Cutting this tree down is hard work."
    B: "Aye, it is." = Yes, it is.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The word "aye" is, as far as I can remember, still perfectly normal north of the Scottish border and not to be regarded as "casual". And it is idiomatic. That doesn't, of course, make the OP sentence normal in the given context in any form of English.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Hmmm... I can't recall offhand any judgements from Scottish courts or academic papers from the many excellent Scottish universities that use "aye": formal Scottish English is broadly the same as formal English.

    Is there any indication that Silverobama is addressing Scots in their dialect? ;)
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Thanks a lot, everyone.

    And Donny, I still have a question for you:

    In the OP's context I'd have just asked: "Would you please vote for it?"
    The link provides two options, one is vote for it and the other is not, not support this act. Can I still say this or do I need to be more specific, asking people to vote for the "support" option rather than the "not-support" version.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ...The link provides two options, one is vote for it and the other is not, not support this act. Can I still say this or do I need to be more specific, asking people to vote for the "support" option rather than the "not-support" version.
    I'm not Donny, but my suggestion is to be as specific as possible. If one of the voting buttons says "I support this proposal," then you could write "Please click on "I support this proposal" to vote "yes." If that's too long, then at least use the word "support" somewhere in your sentence. This is especially true if you are writing to people in China. Some of them may not understand English as well as you do.

    Donny may feel differently, of course. Let's see.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I agree entirely with Egmont. :)

    Depending on what the links/buttons actually say, I think you need to put something like "Please click/vote ["yes"] to support the proposal".
     
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