Sunday, April 30, 2017

Verbs, Episode 3: Happy Anniversary!

Thank you, Randy, for remembering our Forger anniversary!

In remembrance of such a wonderful holiday, I'm going to address an important issue: lay versus lie.

Couple of foundational things: this is really three different verbs that are quite confusing.  Lie can mean to tell a falsehood, to say something untrue.  Yes, it can also be a noun, but for this quick conversation, we are going to address this as the verb form, the intransitive verb--meaning this verb does not take an object.

Lie can also mean to rest or recline, as in "I lie down for a nap every Thanksgiving."  This verb is also intransitive, like the other lie.

Lay, on the other hand, is transitive, meaning that it takes an object, and every time you use the verb, you need to lay something.  Lay means to place something or put something.

Lie and lay are simple in meaning but easy to misuse.

But this in not only where the confusion lies.  Take a look at the tenses and participles:

Present tense
Past tense
Past participle
Lie (to fib)
Lie (to rest)
Lay (to place)

The forms of these verbs overlap.  Anyone who tells you the difference between these verbs is simple is lying to you.  The participles (this is a lesson for another couple of months' time) are confusing, too.

Randy lies down after he writes his blog.  He lay down after he wrote that amazingest blog that made me laugh last week (The Anniversary Blog).  Whenever Mike needs to deal with any of us, Mike has lain down for at least an hour.  Preferably in a quiet field.

Keith lays the law down for this blog.  Too bad when I first laid the law down no one listened--it was nonsensical anyway.  We all have laid down the law for this blog, but the rules have simply become guidelines that none of us follow anymore.

And now, the real question is: how much has Randy really lied?

My game of grammar is up.  I'm done being a grammar goofball!

Thank you, Forgers.  May we live to be 100!

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