I’m Not Lying. I’m Sitting.

 grammar  Comments Off on I’m Not Lying. I’m Sitting.
Oct 062015
 

What is it about the word lying that makes people so afraid to use it? At least three times this past week I have heard laying (the present participle of lay) used where, instead, lying (the present participle of lie) should have been used.

I was laying in bed this morning thinking about the news.

No you weren’t, unless you were a chicken trying to lay an egg.

You were lying in bed this morning thinking about the news. Yes, you were (and good for you … there is a lot of news to think about these days).

People get uncomfortable thinking about lying, as they should. It’s not good to not tell the truth.

People apparently also get uncomfortable thinking about being in a horizontal position that might be construed as lying.

Hmm, there may be a joke in here somewhere … Why did the politician sleep upright in his chair instead of in a bed? Otherwise, he would be accused of lying.

Anyway, yes it’s true, the present participle of lie is lying.

I need to lie down.

Last night I lay down.

Dad lies in bed, waiting for you to bring him his morning coffee.

I am lying in bed, thinking about writing a blog post this morning.

I’m not lying.