By Request — Lay versus Lie – Take Two & National Macaroni Day!

It’s National Macaroni Day!

Yay!  I finally have a reason to use my Macaroni font!  Oh, Macaroni, how do I love thee… Let me count the ways… Okay, I will not soliloquize about pasta, but it’s tempting.

Today we are going to bring back a topic near and dear to everyone’s hearts…  The dreaded Lay vs Lie conundrum.

I ran into a lay verses lie problem in my Writing to a Deadline Novelette “Last Winter Red”

I went back and checked my notes to make sure I got it right.  This was a tough one.  I followed the rules, and used the one that fit, even though it sounded wrong.

Everyone said it was wrong!

One person said, “I know you used the right version, but this sounds bad.  I’d use the wrong one.”

Agreeing with her, I changed it.  Then went for another round of betas, and had to change it again!

I am so confused at this point, that I actually considered re-writing the scene so that little girl is not laying in that stinking bed.  Ugh!

I finally landed on one that no one complained about, but I still don’t think it’s grammatically correct.

Oh, well.

If the publisher mentions it, I’ll let you know.



10 responses to “By Request — Lay versus Lie – Take Two & National Macaroni Day!

  1. The lay and lie thing is one of those that bugs me when someone gets it wrong. I’m sure there are words I get wrong, too, but I can usually get the lay and lie right. There is a lot more leniency in dialogue, though. Most people use lay instead of lie when they are speaking. Btw, I’ve been known to take liberties with a comma or two, even when I knew it was wrong, because I needed the pause. LOL

  2. Love the macaroni font and I’ve been meaning to tell you, that I love the design of your blog. I love how you seem to be able to add text and pics wherever you want…seems very flexible! In reference to lay and lie, I’d be tempted to use the wrong one as well if it sounds better. And aren’t there always “exceptions to the rule” in the English language?

  3. Love the macaroni font, Jenn. I don’t find it cheesy at all. *bad pun* 🙂

  4. I can see why an editor might say to use the wrong form, especially in dialogue. A lot of speakers would use the wrong form, and it would sound more natural. We’re not supposed to trip up readers and take them out of the story, and good grammar can do that!

    Can you rephrase the sentence to use a different verb for being on the bed?

    • That’s exactly what happened to me. I’d written it correctly in a manuscript, but the editor told me to change it because it didn’t sound natural. Even after learning all the rules, these words still confuse the heck out of me. I try to avoid them at all costs.

    • I’m trying, but I don’t want to ruin the special “pace” of that scene. It is a turning point moment in the story.