Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Grammar Nazi

Dear Grammar Nazi,

I always have trouble deciding when to use lay vs. lie. I've almost given up on the issue. Please help me!

Yours truly,
[name redacted]

P.S. You would LOVE Larry the Cableguy. Git R Done!

Dear [name redacted],

As far as 'lay vs. lie' goes, I would be lying if I said the misuse of these didn't concern me. I have lain awake many a night worrying about it. When I received your question, I lay there for hours wondering how best to lay down the law. I laid my pen and paper next to me in case inspiration hit. It didn't.

Lucky for me, Grammar Girl already laid out the rules. In the end, I highly recommend you purchase "Grammar for Dummies" as even Grammar Girl confesses to looking these words up every time she uses them. Tonight, I can lie down in peace, knowing there is one less person in the world misusing these words.


The Grammar Nazi

P.S. Larry the Cableguy is a favorite of mine . . . an unending source of material!

Do you have a question for The Grammar Nazi? Send them to rjljohnson [dot] janet [at] gmail [dot] com.


Stina said...

Great post! Lie and lay is one of the things I mess up less now than I used to. If I mess it up, it's because I'm not paying attention or it's a typo.

Affect and effect screw me up. I thought I had it figured out, but I'm not positive.

Jessica Bell said...

LOL. That is great. I so get them confused too. Yeah, Stina, I was thinking effect / affect too. Bugger the English language!

Joanne said...

No matter how often I go over this, it's a rule that just doesn't stick! Thanks for clearing things up today.

Jody Hedlund said...

Very cute post! Thank heavens for great editors who can catch my mistakes!

Lydia Kang said...

We can never have enough reminders of how to use lay vs lie!

Vicki Rocho said...

Lay vs. lie has tortured me for years...I usually just rewrite the sentence so I don't have the stumbling block.

Do you feel like addressing the whole awake, awaken, awoke mystery?

Anonymous said...

Great blog post Janet. Thanks so much for sharing the Grammar Girl link. I've put that one in my favorites folder for easy reference.

Anonymous said...

Great tip on how to remember when to use lay and lie! I do get those mixed up.
I have an award for you over at my place!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

LOL! Great post. I always have to think about affect and effect. :-)

Celeste said...

I went out of town and totally missed the "Dear Grammar Nazi" post!! How could this have happened? Thanks for the Grammar Girl link. She is rockin'!

Celeste said...
This comment has been removed by the author.