Lie Lady Lie, lie across my big brass bed

Here’s an article about a moderately interesting study showing that people who get upset about grammar errors are, you know, kind of jerks:

Scientists have found that people who constantly get bothered by grammatical errors online have “less agreeable” personalities than those who just let them slide.

And those friends who are super-sensitive to typos on your Facebook page? Psychological testing reveals they’re generally less open, and are also more likely to be judging you for your mistakes than everyone else. In other words, they’re exactly who you thought they were.

So, my wonderful kid is home for Easter, and he says: “I think I’ll go lay down.”  What is a father to do?  Constantly correct your kid’s grammar, and maybe he’ll think “Maybe I’ll lay down somewhere else next Easter.”  Ignore his errors, and you are obviously failing as a parent.  My response was to sort of mutter the correct usage and hope my kid learned something.

Of course, the lay/lie distinction is clearly on its way out.  I just bought a Fitbit.  Good for me!  Here’s a paragraph from the manual:

While it may track stats such as steps and floors when placed in a pocket or backpack, it is most accurate on the wrist. For all-day wear, your Charge HR should usually rest a finger’s width below your wrist bone and lay flat (as you’d normally wear a watch).

Should I worry about Fitbit’s quality control if they let that use of “lay” into their documentation?  Probably not.

Anyway, I’ll give Bob Dylan the final word.  I have a feeling that Dylan knew the difference between “lay” and “lie” perfectly well, but just liked the sound of “lay” better.  Geniuses can do that.

6 thoughts on “Lie Lady Lie, lie across my big brass bed

  1. Hey Rich,

    While we’re talking about Bob Dylan, I found out a few weeks ago that Bob Dylan is becoming a Mason.

    Every month, the Grand Lodge of Masons in CA issues a report on people that have applied to be Masons.

    One “Robert Dylan, Age 74 with occupation listed as Musician” had applied to Masonic Lodge in Santa Monica.

    All of the older members thought that was very cool.

    Joe Bowker Mail: Blog: Tel: 978-319-3406



    • Or maybe he was enduring a rare brain-freeze and the only rhyme he could think of for “Lie, lady, lie” was “Fie, lady fie,” which would have given the song a whole different … subtext?


      • And also? Bob Dylan is not 74. He is not. That’s just wrong. Just … so wrong. And if he is, I’d have to be … Well, anyway, I’m going to cover my ears, um, eyes, so I don’t have to see such — such awful talk. Written-down, I mean. Uh, I’m just gonna close my eyes, yank on my boots of Spaaanish leaaaatherrrr, and go for a walk in the rain. This part of the world’s always good for that. When it’s not snowing.


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