Grammar-ease: Lying vs Laying (Lie vs Lay)

Grammar tip of the day:

Live to Write - Write to Live

Using lay versus lie has come up quite a bit, so here’s a re-do of my 2013 post on these tricky words.

Lay is an active verb. A person picks up a book and lays it on a chair. A chicken lays an egg. (The person and chicken are active.)

Lie is a still verb. People lie on beds. Cats lie on people. Fleas lie on cats. (The people, cats, and fleas are still.)


Lay: to place or set something

SimpleProgressivePerfectPerfect progressive (action continues for a while)
PresentI lay

You lay

He/she/it lays

They lay

I am laying

You are laying

She is laying

They are laying

I have laid

You have laid

She has laid

They have laid

I have been laying

You have been laying

She has been laying

They have been laying

PastI laid

You laid

She laid

They laid

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discreet, discrete

Word usage lesson for the day:


If you do not use your discretion in keeping words discrete, your lack of discernment may result in indiscretion – and it won’t be discreet.

Let’s be honest: discrete and discreet seem like the sort of word pair that just exist to be a sand trap in the golf course of the language, don’t they? They’re pronounced the same way and they have related meanings. But if you mix up the two, someone is sure to hold it up as evidence of a woeful lack of education. The English language is like a secret society where there’s a new password at every door, and sooner or later you’ll get one of them wrong and be stripped of your disguise and your power – your discretion and your discretion. And those who get it right will mock you indiscreetly. (Come to think of it, it’s more like an elementary-school secret club…

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Women In Horror Month, February 2016, Gothic, Music, Supernatural

Another fine article from Paula Cappa.

Paula Cappa

Women in Horror Month, February 2016

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  February 2, 2016

We are celebrating Women in Horror all this month. But not just horror. We all recognize the names Shirley Jackson, Anne Rice, and Mary Shelley, among lots more women who write horror but also supernatural mysteries, dark fantasy, and ghost stories.  Have you experienced the stories of Elizabeth Hand? Winterlong launched her career in 1990.  Today I call your attention to Wylding Hall.

61vn59gbvvLWylding Hall is her dark fantasy/horror novel. When the young members of a British acid-folk band are compelled by their manager to record their unique music, they hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with dark secrets. “Wylding Hall is a true surreal phantasmagoria, with music and all the accoutrements of the world of rock-and-roll set off by a wonderful admixture of the gothic supernatural. Treat it like the most exciting getaway in a truly…

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