Re: Need some help with terms: was "rhotic miscellany"
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Friday, November 5, 2004, 19:30|
Sally Caves scripsit:
> It's an old confusion. In early ME, or in the transition from OE to ME, I
> believe, "lay" and "set" were established as transitive alternatives to the
> intransitives "lie" and "sit."
Which is why we either lay or set the table.
> especially among my dissertationers,
What a great word! Apparently it's a coinage: searching Google shows no
hits for "dissertationer" except in Swedish text (pl. of "dissertation",
> I insist on it, and I hope that doesn't stir John Cowan's sense of
> elitist prescriptivism. :),
Not too much.
> Because it is so prevalent, I believe the distinction will die, and
> "lay" will cover the intransitive meaning as well.
Though I hear and see plenty of hypercorrect forms: "I was tired, so I
lied down." For some reason, this upsets me much more than the opposite.
There is also transitive "lay" = "have sex with" (either party can be
the subject) to further muddy the waters.
> "lie" (sustain a prostrate or prone position)
ObPedantic: I think these are synonymous. Do you perchance mean
"a prone or supine position"? (If there is a ten-dollar word for lying on
your side, I don't know it.)
John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org www.ccil.org/~cowan
Female celebrity stalker, on a hot morning in Cairo:
"Imagine, Colonel Lawrence, ninety-two already!"
El Auruns's reply: "Many happy returns of the day!"