You know that Eric Clapton song “Lay Down, Sally”? Me neither. Kidding–I’m certainly old enough to have heard his bluesy tribute to J. J. Cale and pretended to enjoy it. Nope, never really liked it. But I didn’t question the grammatical correctness of the lyrics. That is, not until I listened to Grammar Girl’s scant six-minute podcast clearing up any questions I might’ve had about the controversy that is Lay Versus Lie.
Granted, Mignon Fogarty’s charming mini-cast was a little schooly. But it was six minutes long for God’s sake. And I’ll never misuse lay or lie again. You think you know the difference, but it can get pretty convoluted. For example, when you’re using lay as a command in the present sense, you can’t be talking about people. Hence the issue with Slowhand’s 1977 classic.
This may not be a podcast you put on regular rotation. Learning may not be part of your listening routine. (It’s not part of mine typically.) But check in with Miss Fogarty from time to time. It’s a simple way to tighten up your intellectual core.