One of the many sloppy usages that drive me slowly crazy is the confusion some people have between the words "lie" and "lay." It may have started in a problem with accents or speed, but it's an easy problem to beat.
Here are some reminders of the rules:
You are lying in bed or on the couch, but someone comes in -- if you're lucky -- and lays a snack on the table beside you.
The dog in the picture is lying on the floor, but I laid that picture into the software in the proper place. The dog is not laying on the floor -- it's not a chicken.
Lie, lying and its other forms are for talking or writing about what's directly being done by a person or thing. (Yes, you lay something on the table and let it lie.)
Laying -- bonus point to me, I got the Y in there! -- and other forms of lay are for talking or writing about what happens to something.
You lie like a dog or a rug,
but you lay like a chicken.
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.
Don't just lie there, subscribe! You don't have to lay down a payment -- any Chicago Now post or subscription is free. Type your e-mail address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam-free, and you can opt out at any time.
Filed under: Uncategorized