Sunday, November 13, 2005

Grammar lessons

There’s vs. There Are

Sunday, November 13, 2005 
Current mood: confused

Perhaps every now and then I will post pet peeves of mine, in no particular order. I will start with this one because it is in the forefront of my mind. Maybe if I type it out here, in this venue, I will stop thinking about it. Pet Peeve 1: Everybody in the world except a couple of brave people, like me, say "there's" when they mean "there are". It drives me nuts. Just pay attention for one day and count how many times people, including yourself, say "there's" when they really mean "there are" or "there're". This includes well educated people, news broadcasters.. everybody! I'm not sure what the problem is. It's not that hard to say it correctly. You can just sort of blur together "there're" so that it sounds almost like "there". THERE! See how easy it is? It's doesn't have to be a tongue twister. I think it actually sounds fairly normal to say "there are". It doesn't sound too proper or too British or anything. "Wow, look at those birds! There are so many of them!" or "Look! There're so many of them!" as opposed to, "Look at those birds! There's so many of them!" AAAAHHHH! Make it stop! oops, ok I've just caught myself saying "there's". Blah! I guess I do it too. How annoying. 

Lie vs. Lay grammar lesson! 

Sunday, November 14, 2005 
Current mood:  jubilant

This is a different sort of Pet Peeve because I only annoy MYSELF by it. I never know how to use "laid" or "layed" or "lied" or "lie" or "lay" properly in a sentence, unless I'm talking about sex. I have been struggling with this one for many years. I drive myself nuts! My Mom explains it to me whenever I ask and I promptly forget. I don't care when other people mess this up because I never KNOW when they're saying it incorrectly. But guess what! I did some intensive research today and I think I've finally figured it out! I'd be willing to bet that some of you struggle with this same problem, so here's a quick grammar lesson! Firstly, "layed" isn't even a word. Doh! Lay and lie are hard to get right. Remember, lay means "to place." Lie means "to recline." People confuse lay and lie because the past tense of lie is lay. Check it out... Present tense: lay Past tense: laid Past Participle: laid "Now I have to lay this tomato on the cutting board." "Yesterday, I laid a tomato on the cutting board." "I had just laid the tomato down when you called." Present tense: lie Past tense: lay (!) Past Participle: lain (!) "I think I’ll lie down for a while." "Yesterday I lay awake instead of napping." "I could have lain there fruitlessly, but instead I got up and vacuumed." When I finally figured this out, I realized WHY I never know what word to use - BECAUSE NO ONE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE SAYS LAY AS THE PAST TENSE OF LIE OR LAIN AS THE PAST PARTICIPLE!! Do you? If so, you're a freak! I admire you and I'm jealous, but you're a freak! However, from now on I too am going to say things correctly. I, Elaine Walker, am going to start saying, "Last night I lay in bed with insomnia. I could have lain there fruitlessly, but finally got up and vacuumed." And wadayaknow. If you say it over and over enough times it starts to sound normal! heeheeeee!