Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What I Learned Today

What do Bob Dylan's Lay, Lady, Lay and Clapton's Lay Down Sally have in common?

ANSWER: They use the wrong verb. "Lay" is transitive. "Lie" would be correct. Unless Clapton was instructing some guy, probably drunk, to lay down Sally before he drops her or bumps her head into the chandelier.

True grammarians also insist Layla should be Liela.

In addition, behold the interrobang.

1 comment:

Brandon Berg said...

Clearly the latter interpretation is correct; otherwise it would have been necessary to add a comma: "Lie Down, Sally." He can't possibly have made two mistakes in the same title.

Also, I propose that both "lays" in "Lay, Lady, Lay" are transitive with an implied object. Probably "me"--who doesn't like to get laid?

The interrobang, like the "?!" sequence it's intended to replace, is an abomination. Each sentence should end with exactly one period, question mark, or explanation point. Or, in rare circumstances, an ellipsis.