[at-l] Chili

Carla & Dave Hicks carla_dave_hicks at verizon.net
Thu Jun 17 09:45:05 CDT 2010

With all this knowledge about lay vs. lie usage, please tell me, if you go out
back in the morning and the big red hen if just clacking away, how do you know
to say "She been laying" or "She is lying?

;-) }


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nina Rogers" <Nina.Rogers at DrakeSoftware.com>
To: "Jan Lite" <liteshoe at gmail.com>; <hopeful_2003 at comcast.net>
Cc: "Nina Rogers" <infpeace at gmail.com>; "at-l" <at-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: [at-l] Chili

"Lie" is kind of like "sit" in that it's usually an intransitive verb and
involves moving your body to a different position. "Let's all lie down with
Felix, close our eyes, and listen to the whippoorwills." Of course, "lie"
means something different in the biblical sense and when followed by the
preposition "with." We wouldn't all want to lie *with* Felix, at least not all
at once.

"Lay" is transitive and is like "set" because it means "to place something
down." So you could lay your pack on the ground if you're not happy with
setting it there.

What's confusing is that "lay" is also the past tense of "lie." If you lie on
a mountaintop for your first hiking break at 10 a.m. and then tell someone
about it six hours later, you would use the past tense: "I got to that
mountaintop at 10 a.m. and lay down for a nap."

Of course, if you told an untruth on that mountaintop that morning, then you'd
say you lied. Then you'd be a liar.

I'm speaking North Carolina more and more. The other day I wrote that you need
to fill out a form completely before submitting it, and some Yankee co-worker
told me that my use of "fill out" was distinctly southern. Next thing I know,
they're going to tell me I can't write "y'all" anymore. Hmph.



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