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jaus tail
04-02-2015, 08:01 AM
Hi, I'm sure that the sentence needs a lie, but wanted to clarify.

***

It was my last day of work. I was asked to clean my desk in twenty minutes and walk out of the building. After working for thirty years and bringing revenue worth ten times my salary, I was asked to leave before the security guard shoved me out of the gate. All this only because the firm was going through some losses. Why can't they fire the CEO? That'd be some cost cutting.

For revenge, I decided to increase my compensation. I started with pens, pencils, tissue papers and proceeded to sales price, quotations, and patented documents. A pen drive is more than helpful to store company secrets.

I took a picture of the boss, in case I decided to get a bounty hunter. In his cabin I saw the boss' wig lying on the floor. It wasn't not my fault she left her wig lying/laying about.....

I stuffed it in my wallet then decided other wise. The drawer had a tube of permanent glue. I unrolled the tube's cap and generously spread some glue on the inside of the wig. And let it lie innocently on the table.

***

The reason it should be lay is cause a wig doesn't lie itself on its own. The rug "lays" on the ground, because it can't put itself there, and that's what "lie" means.

Any inputs? Thanks in advance...

NRoach
04-02-2015, 09:01 AM
Hi, I'm sure that the sentence needs a lie, but wanted to clarify.

***

It was my last day of work. I was asked to clean my desk in twenty minutes and walk out of the building. After working for thirty years and bringing revenue worth ten times my salary, I was asked to leave before the security guard shoved me out of the gate. All this only because the firm was going through some losses. Why can't they fire the CEO? That'd be some cost cutting.

For revenge, I decided to increase my compensation. I started with pens, pencils, tissue papers and proceeded to sales price, quotations, and patented documents. A pen drive is more than helpful to store company secrets.

I took a picture of the boss, in case I decided to get a bounty hunter. In his cabin I saw the boss' wig lying on the floor. It wasn't not my fault she left her wig lying/laying about.....

I stuffed it in my wallet then decided other wise. The drawer had a tube of permanent glue. I unrolled the tube's cap and generously spread some glue on the inside of the wig. And let it lie innocently on the table.

***

The reason it should be lay is cause a wig doesn't lie itself on its own. The rug "lays" on the ground, because it can't put itself there, and that's what "lie" means.

Any inputs? Thanks in advance...

The wig is lying on the ground, having been left lying there.
If it were laying on the ground, it would be in the process of putting something on the ground

atombaby
04-02-2015, 09:24 AM
The word lay should be used when there is an object receiving the action, i.e. something or someone is getting laid (down) by something or someone else.

I always lay my pencil by the phone.
I laid the book on that chair.
I am laying down the law.
Conversely, the word lie is used when there is no object involved, i.e. the subject of the sentence is doing the lying.

I lie down every afternoon.
The kitten lies there, dozing.
The dog is lying down.

Also, if you can replace "lay" with "place," then it is correct. As in: "Lay/Place the book on the table," would not work in "Lie down."

Also, here's a helpful graphic (http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/sites/default/files/styles/insert_large/public/images/190/layLie.jpg?itok=j2LVDg57).

The wig is the object, so it lays there. But if she laid it there, then it laying about sounds correct. At least that's how I see this conundrum? I'm always left feeling unsure about lay/lie.

jaus tail
04-02-2015, 09:31 AM
If i'm reading atom correctly then there's
One vote for lie, one for lay.

I think it should be lying. the boss left the wig lying on the floor
going by logic that the wig didn't lie itself, then even lamps don't stand by themselves on the floor. but i've read...a lamp stood at the room's corner. lap doesn't stand by itself, someone places it there.

poetinahat
04-02-2015, 10:03 AM
I see it the same as atombaby: 'lay' isn't always a transitive verb; it can be intransitive.



in fields where they lay, keeping their sheep


But if neither option feels completely right, maybe just rewriting the sentence would be more satisfying. For example, you could just leave it out:

The boss dropped the wig on the floor and left it there.

Marlys
04-02-2015, 04:32 PM
I see it the same as atombaby: 'lay' isn't always a transitive verb; it can be intransitive.


Clarification: the verb "to lay" (to put something down) is always transitive. It requires an object. Present tense is lay, past tense is laid, present participle is laying.

In the line "In fields where they lay," "lay" is the past tense of "lie" (to recline or rest). The verb is "to lie," which is intransitive: I lie down in the fields right now; I lay down in the fields yesterday. Present participle is lying.

The wig is not laying anything down--it's just lying (resting) there. So 'lying' is correct.

Edwardian
04-02-2015, 04:33 PM
As I understand it, they are two separate words with the same meaning. Though the previous point about transitive / intransitive sounds right.

Jamesaritchie
04-02-2015, 04:38 PM
If it's laying on the floor, look under it and see if the egg is out yet.

Rufus Coppertop
04-02-2015, 04:48 PM
Yes. JAR is correct.

Maryn
04-02-2015, 04:49 PM
There is a brilliant sticky (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105210) on lay and lie. It says, in part:
LIE is a situation, a way a thing can exist. It means ‘rest on a surface’ or ‘be situated.’ That makes it an intransitive verb--a verb that can’t have a direct object. You lie on the couch, or the goal lies within reach. The past tense of lie is lay, which is undoubtedly where the confusion comes from.
You want lie, without a doubt.

Maryn, who's got this down

morngnstar
04-02-2015, 05:25 PM
Lots of confusion here, and for good reason.

There's only one way to choose which of these entries in the dictionary you want, and that's if the verb has a direct object. It's a grammatical distinction, not a semantic one. Anything can lie, animate or inanimate, and you can lay anything, animate or inanimate. All of these are correct:

Adam lies on the bed.
Beth lays Adam on the bed.
The rug lies on the floor.
He lays the rug on the floor.

You don't have a direct object in either usage, so the dictionary entry to choose is "lie".

Second confusion: the conjugations of these verbs collide. The past tense of lie is lay. It's spelled just like the present tense verb lay, but it's not the same.

Adam lay on the bed.
Beth laid Adam on the bed.
The rug lay on the floor.
He laid the rug on the floor.

Third confusion is that you're using a past tense POV, but you are using "lie" as a gerund and an infinitive, which have forms related to the present tense. "Lying" and "let it lie" are correct. You don't want past tense. "Droppeding" and "let it dropped" is obviously wrong. "Left it laying" and "let it lay" are equally wrong, just less obviously.

blacbird
04-03-2015, 06:42 AM
Right here at this place we have the definitive resource, and that's no lie:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105210

caw

jaus tail
04-03-2015, 07:22 AM
Thanks for this.

King Neptune
04-03-2015, 04:15 PM
There are related matter that can make it more confusing, especially since Adam lies like a rug, and he lays Beth regularly.

BethS
04-05-2015, 06:54 PM
And let it lie innocently on the table.

***

The reason it should be lay is cause a wig doesn't lie itself on its own. The rug "lays" on the ground, because it can't put itself there, and that's what "lie" means.



The sentence as written is correct. It should be "lie," not "lay."

And in your example, it should be "the rug lies on the ground" (present tense). Past tense would be "The rug lay on the ground."

There's a sticky thread about lie/lay right on this page, you know.

apchelopech
04-11-2015, 06:44 PM
A certain songwriter wants a female acquaintance to repose upon his bed. This is how he asks her -

"Lay, lady, lay. Lay across my big brass bed."

But what would he know.

Bufty
04-11-2015, 06:47 PM
Song lyrics are not intended to be reference points for guidance on grammar issues.


A certain songwriter wants a female acquaintance to repose upon his bed. This is how he asks her -

"Lay, lady, lay. Lay across my big brass bed."

But what would he know.

Maryn
04-11-2015, 06:57 PM
Song lyrics are not intended to be reference points for guidance on grammar issues.You mean Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" is wrong?

But if this ever-changing world in which we live in...

Maryn, cringing anew

apchelopech
04-11-2015, 07:12 PM
Song lyrics are not intended to be reference points for guidance on grammar issues.

Well, maybe not determinative but surely at least reference points? Thing is, did Dylan get it wrong? And if he did, did he do it deliberately? And if he did, can't writers?

Twick
04-11-2015, 07:24 PM
Well, maybe not determinative but surely at least reference points? Thing is, did Dylan get it wrong? And if he did, did he do it deliberately? And if he did, can't writers?

Well, there are songs like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". Does that mean that writers are free to use double negatives and "ain't"?

You can write anything as dialogue if you are being true to the speaker's voice. Lyrics are considered to be "voices". When you are writing narration, you are expected to use proper grammar.

Using "lay" when "lie" is appropriate will mark you as careless or uneducated. It's no different than writing "Frank hadn't got no bullets for his gun."

Bufty
04-11-2015, 07:36 PM
Anything can be a reference point - depends what you want to be referencing.

What exactly is your point in this line of questioning?

Lyrics are lyrics- they are designed to flow to the ear and if grammatical licence achieves that, so be it.

It's the same as written dialogue. Dialogue is privileged. Anything is permissible in dialogue because it is peculiar to the character speaking that dialogue - it's not meant to indicate grammatical correctness/perfection unless that is the specific intent of the speaker.

Use of correct grammar helps the reader comprehend what he is reading.


Well, maybe not determinative but surely at least reference points? Thing is, did Dylan get it wrong? And if he did, did he do it deliberately? And if he did, can't writers?

apchelopech
04-11-2015, 08:08 PM
What exactly is your point in this line of questioning?

Well, let's assume Bob Dylan knew the difference between 'lie' and 'lay' when he wrote this song. So my question stands - was he wrong or right with 'lay'? (You don't actually give a view on that :) ) Is it 'lie on my bed' but 'lay across my bed'? Ie, does the preposition affect the usage? Or, is 'lay' lyrical and 'lie' literal? If that should be the case, I would argue that prose-writers can also choose to be lyrical in their narrative as well as in their dialogue. The example 'ain't' ain't apposite - no-one would suggest it's semantically correct for narrative (unless that's the writer's chosen style). But I posit that 'lay/lie' is different, and that there's a choice there to be made. As evidenced by the OP's example.

Maryn
04-11-2015, 08:13 PM
Lie, lady, lie would be correct. It means to rest on a surface, to be situated, and it cannot have a direct object.

Lay requires a direct object. Lay bricks, lady, lay tile. Lay something. How about the pool boy? That counts. But if you're not laying something, then you should be using lie.

Please see posts 10 and 12, both of which direct you to this heartbreakingly beautiful post. (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105210)

Maryn, solid on this at last

apchelopech
04-11-2015, 08:40 PM
Hi Maryn, I didn't overlook your breathtakingly beautiful exposition on point, but I don't believe it to be as clear-cut as 'lay' needs an object (which, btw, Dylan doesn't provide, unless we read it as 'lay your body' or some such) and 'lie' doesn't. And if I should use 'lay up' - as in golf - as illustrative, I suppose I'd be told that it's not illustrative, because it's a phrasal verb. Ditto, 'lay out' (invest) and 'lay off' (stop hassling s/b). So might that be the answer to the OP's 'laying about'?

Cheers,
APC

Maryn
04-11-2015, 10:11 PM
(Grinning--where else but AW do you get people so happy to play with words?)

I think Dylan's pretty clear, and wrong, although as noted above, lyrics and dialogue get to be grammatically incorrect if the writers chooses. Dylan's using the imperative, telling the lady to lie upon his big brass bed.

Shall we collectively rewrite the lyrics, preserving rhythm and rhyme scheme and everything?

Lie, lady, lie, lie upon my big brass bed.
Lie, lady, lie, lie upon my big brass bed.
Whatever colors you have in your mind
I'll show them to you and you'll see them shine.

(Whew, this verse wasn't too bad at all.)

Original lyrics:
Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Whatever colors you have in your mind
I'll show them to you and you'll see them shine.

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile
His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean
And you're the best thing that he's ever seen.

Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Why wait any longer for the world to begin
You can have your cake and eat it too
Why wait any longer for the one you love
When he's standing in front of you.

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
I long to see you in the morning light
I long to reach for you in the night
Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead.

morngnstar
04-11-2015, 11:06 PM
Hi Maryn, I didn't overlook your breathtakingly beautiful exposition on point, but I don't believe it to be as clear-cut as 'lay' needs an object (which, btw, Dylan doesn't provide, unless we read it as 'lay your body' or some such) and 'lie' doesn't. And if I should use 'lay up' - as in golf - as illustrative, I suppose I'd be told that it's not illustrative, because it's a phrasal verb. Ditto, 'lay out' (invest) and 'lay off' (stop hassling s/b). So might that be the answer to the OP's 'laying about'?

Cheers,
APC

I don't know what lay up is in golf, but lay out and lay off both take direct objects as verbs.

morngnstar
04-11-2015, 11:10 PM
I think Dylan just wanted to use only two alternate syllables. Lay and lady share a syllable in common that lie doesn't. By using only two syllables, it's both a sentence and one of those simple repetitive chants like doobee-doobee-doo.

guttersquid
04-12-2015, 12:04 AM
We can forgive Dylan, because anything goes in song lyrics, and we can forgive him even more if insert a missing word:

Lay yourself, lady, lay yourself. Lay yourself across my big brass bed.

blacbird
04-12-2015, 12:09 AM
If Dylan had sung "Lie, lady, lie", it would take on an entirely different meaning.

caw

WWWalt
04-16-2015, 01:07 AM
lay out and lay off both take direct objects as verbs.

Not necessarily. "I'll play my bagpipes during the first two verses, but when Dylan gets to the third verse, I'll lay out."

("Fine. Point made, Walt. Now lay off.")

And, yeah, it should be obvious that the guy who wrote "it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe" is not to be trusted as a grammar authority. :)

King Neptune
04-16-2015, 01:46 AM
And, yeah, it should be obvious that the guy who wrote "it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe" is not to be trusted as a grammar authority. :)

That's the understatement of the decade. Some of his lyrics were simply for the sound. Try to make sense of the verses of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere." The chorus makes perfect sense, but the verses just fill in.
http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/you-aint-goin-nowhere