Wizard
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December 11th, 2011 at 11:27:03 AM permalink
Here is a preview of my latest blog entry on Iguazu Falls.

As always, I welcome all comments, questions, and corrections.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
ChesterDog
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December 11th, 2011 at 12:11:52 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

...Iguazu Falls lay near the intersection...



(The verb should be in present tense instead of past tense. So it should be "Iguazu Falls lie near the intersection...")
odiousgambit
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December 11th, 2011 at 1:43:34 PM permalink
Quote: ChesterDog

(The verb should be in present tense instead of past tense. So it should be "Iguazu Falls lie near the intersection...")



"Iguazu Falls lie near the intersection..."
or
"Iguazu Falls lies near the intersection..." ?

Honest question. Seems to me the Falls are singular.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Wizard
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December 11th, 2011 at 1:49:37 PM permalink
Quote: ChesterDog

(The verb should be in present tense instead of past tense. So it should be "Iguazu Falls lie near the intersection...")



Hmm. While I'm not still 100% on the difference between lie and lay, here is one definition of lay from dictionary.com:

37. the way or position in which a thing is laid or lies: the lay of the land.

This seems similar in usage to mine.

Also, I looked at The Proper Use of "Lay" and Lie". In part, the writer says, Obviously there will be some confusion when it is correct to say, "I lay in bed all day," to describe what you did yesterday or last week, but incorrect to say, "I will lay here until the headache goes away, " or "Why don't you lay here a while?

I think my usage was similar to "I lay in bed all day."

Your response?
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
DorothyGale
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December 11th, 2011 at 2:35:32 PM permalink
"I'm afraid all I know is the close at 5 p.m."

the -> they
"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!"
ChesterDog
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December 11th, 2011 at 2:35:45 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

...I think my usage was similar to "I lay in bed all day."...



Yes. It's just a matter of verb tense.

Last month, when you visited the falls they lay near the intersection of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. Today, they still do. (They still lie at that location.)

By the way, this brings to mind Mitch Hedberg's bit, "I used to do drugs. I still do. I used to, too."
Wizard
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December 11th, 2011 at 2:44:12 PM permalink
Quote: ChesterDog

Last month, when you visited the falls they lay near the intersection of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. Today, they still do. (They still lie at that location.)



I'm not using lay as the past tense of lie. I'm using it to mean to put/locate something somewhere, in the present tense. As in, "Please lay the book on the table."
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
EvenBob
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December 11th, 2011 at 2:46:53 PM permalink
Lay and lie are tough. But since lie is the present tense, usually,
and lay is the past, in this case you're talking about the present,
so lie would be proper. You're going to lie down before dinner,
but last night you laid in your bed. 'Lay Lady Lay' is incorrect,
it should have been 'Lie Lady Lie'.

But it doesn't make that much difference, they're so similar that
most people can't see the nuances. Lay was fine to use here,
even though improper.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
ChesterDog
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December 11th, 2011 at 3:17:56 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I'm not using lay as the past tense of lie. I'm using it to mean to put/locate something somewhere, in the present tense. As in, "Please lay the book on the table."



"To lay" is a transitive verb, which means that it has an object. "To lie" is intransitive; it has no object. The past tense of lay is laid, and the past tense of lie is lay.

God said to himself, "Where should I lay the falls? I guess I'll lay them somewhere in South America." He laid them near the intersection of present day Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay; and that's where they lie today.

By the way, I love your article! I had heard of the falls but had no idea where they were.
pacomartin
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December 11th, 2011 at 3:36:16 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I'm not using lay as the past tense of lie. I'm using it to mean to put/locate something somewhere, in the present tense. As in, "Please lay the book on the table."



Lay is both a present tense of a transitive verb, and the past tense of the intransitive verb lie.

Type Infinitive Definition Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle Present Participle
transitive to lay to put something down lay(s) laid laid laying
intransitive to lie to rest or recline lie(s) lay lain lying


Quote: ChesterDog

(The verb should be in present tense instead of past tense. So it should be "Iguazu Falls lie near the intersection...")



ChesterDog is correct in giving his recommendation, but he is supplying the wrong grammatical reason. You should use "lie" because you have no direct object and the verb should be intransitive. You can only lay down a book (direct object is the book).

Quote: Wizard

37. the way or position in which a thing is laid or lies: the lay of the land.
This seems similar in usage to mine.



This example is not appropriate becase in lay of the land the word "lay" is being used as a noun. It is has no tense. You are still using it in your sentence as a verb. But since you mean to use an intransitive verb in the present tense, the correct verb is "lie".
EvenBob
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December 11th, 2011 at 3:40:34 PM permalink
It lay there in the past, it lies there now.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Wizard
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December 11th, 2011 at 4:47:32 PM permalink
Quote: ChesterDog

By the way, I love your article! I had heard of the falls but had no idea where they were.



Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. As I always say, these travel reports take a lot of time to write and format, so I appreciate the kind words.

Here is what my proofreader wrote when I questioned her about this.

Quote: K.M.


As for the lay vs. lie argument, I concluded the falls were a direct object, so grammar rules would suggest the use of lay. I can see arguments for either side, however, and could be convinced the falls aren't a direct object. It feels like a gray area to me. That being said, there are people with stronger grammar backgrounds than me out there.



I also asked another person I respect with the English language and he said it should be "lies" because falls is plural. Here is what he wrote:

Quote: D.S.

Probably neither. :-) I would say "lies."

"Falls" is a singular collective noun. I don't think I would say "Niagara Falls look beautiful"; I would say "looks beautiful."

"Lay" or "lays" is definitely wrong. You lay things down, but they lie. "Lay" is a transitive verb; it has to have an object. The confusion comes because "lay" is also the past tense of "to lie." So, in the past, "I lay down yesterday at 3 o'clock." (People who say or write "I laid down" are illiterate! :-))

"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
EvenBob
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December 11th, 2011 at 5:31:31 PM permalink
Lies or lie is really nitpicking, I think either works. >People who say or write "I laid down" are illiterate! :-))>
Not so. If you can say 'I laid the baby on the bed' you can also say 'I laid down.'
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Wizard
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December 11th, 2011 at 5:46:30 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

If you can say 'I laid the baby on the bed' you can also say 'I laid down.'



'I laid the baby on the bed' has a direct object, the baby. Are you implying the direct object in 'I laid down' is an implied "myself"?
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
EvenBob
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December 11th, 2011 at 6:01:30 PM permalink
I laid down the bet, then I got laid, after which I laid
down on the bed and later laid my comb on the dresser.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
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December 11th, 2011 at 6:45:00 PM permalink
Nice writeup, Wiz. My daughter lost my credit card in a restaurant there, a couple weeks ago. I want to see the pictures.
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pacomartin
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December 11th, 2011 at 7:16:06 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Here is what my proofreader wrote when I questioned her about this.
I also asked another person I respect with the English language and he said it should be "lies" because falls is plural. Here is what he wrote:



I don't understand K.M.'s comment that "falls" is a direct object. I would call it the subject of the sentence.
D.S. made the comment that "lay" is a transitive verb, something which two of us already noted. That is why we said "lie".

To make it more confusing, the verb lay can be an intransitive verb. If you "lay about" or "lay it on" there is no direct object. What we should say is that in your sentence you are using the verb incorrectly, and a transitive verb is required.

To be fair, many people consider this verb pair to be two of the most confusing in English. The fact that the present tense of one verb is identical to the past tense of the other verb is particularly annoying.

=========================
The original post was on this grammar question, and it did divert me from saying that your articles are always interesting. I do admire you spunk especially in trying to visit Brazil.

Here is my guess as to what happened with the visa. Brazil has been becoming relatively wealthy in the past few years, and they have been trying to get on the list of countries that the US state department accepts people with machine readable passports only, and does not require a visa. These countries are called visa waiver countries. As of right now, there are not countries in Latin America that are on the list.

What frequently happens is that if a country feels snubbed, they respond by stepping up enforcement of their own entry rules. Since I know for a fact that Brazil feels like it's request is being ignored, they probably take it out on the handful of people that they can annoy. I suspect that your guidebook was correct when it was written.

In the past I have found cases where the Lonely Planet is woefully inadequate about updating their information. The US counsel's office in Oaxaca had moved about ten years earlier, but the guidebook was not updated with the new address. As the Consular office only had their sign on the street stolen, the only way a US citizen could find the place was the guidebook (which was incorrect), or if they were lucky enough to find a stranger. As the hours were incredibly limited, you might go for days with an emergency.
Nareed
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December 11th, 2011 at 7:29:12 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

In the past I have found cases where the Lonely Planet is woefully inadequate about updating their information. The US counsel's office in Oaxaca had moved about ten years earlier, but the guidebook was not updated with the new address. As the Consular office only had their sign on the street stolen, the only way a US citizen could find the place was the guidebook (which was incorrect), or if they were lucky enough to find a stranger. As the hours were incredibly limited, you might go for days with an emergency.



Or you can look up "embjadas y consulados" on the yellow pages (Sección Amarilla). All decent hotels have a copy in every room. If not, you can easily borrow one at a store, restaurant or just about any hotel's front desk. If that fails, dial information at 040 and ask for the US consulate.

That's the archaic method, of course. These days you go online and look it up at the State Dept. website.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
pacomartin
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December 11th, 2011 at 8:26:07 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

>People who say or write "I laid down" are illiterate! :-))>
Not so. If you can say 'I laid the baby on the bed' you can also say 'I laid down.'



It doesn't follow.
If you say 'I laid the baby on the bed' then there is a direct object (baby), and the sentence is grammatically correct.
'I laid down.' has no direct object and is not grammatically correct.

Now in Psalm 3:5 in King James Bible. It says:
'I laid me down and slept'; so it is specifically using the word "me" as a direct object.

But that was 400 year old English. Modern translations usually say:
'I lay down and slept'

where in this case "lay" is the past tense of "lie" (an intransitive verb), and not the present tense of "lay"

It is the double use of the word "lay" that is confusing.
odiousgambit
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December 12th, 2011 at 2:32:35 AM permalink
Quote: D.S.

Probably neither. :-) I would say "lies."



harumph! I would like to point out that I also suggested this was correct, but my post got lost. I still think that sounds right to me if the Falls are singular [not plural]

to highlight how singular/plural works with lie:

the knife lies there, but the knives lie there.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
pacomartin
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December 12th, 2011 at 3:09:36 AM permalink
Let me re-emphasize that the article was quite good. Maybe you should change the name of this post to grammar analysis
aluisio
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December 12th, 2011 at 2:43:28 PM permalink
Great review and pictures, Wizard! It's a pitty you didn't make it to the Brazilian side, maybe I am not the most advisable person to say, since I am passionated by the place. I live about 300 miles from the falls and I am used to visit Puerto Iguazu twice a year for shopping and gambling. Always that I have enough time I do to the Falls. There is a very famous ride, called Macuco Safari that is a little bit overpriced but is totally worth it. A good call is any of the resorts in the Cataratas Avenue, all inclusive system and very upscale.
Regarding the issue on a visa, I am totally annoyed by this kind of view that "border agents may let you in without a visa". I do not think that you should have considered it at all. 3rd world countries have rules, and they are as inforced as they are in the U.S.
The treatment you will get here will be very respectfull and fair. If you want to come to Brazil you may apply to a visa in a Brazilian Consulate in the United States, not in Argentina, since you live in the U.S
This reference to the visa waiver program is correct. Brazil is trying to get it from Obama and was trying to get it from Bush. I personally think that it will never happen, because even with our market growing a lot and our economy becoming stronger there will always be people wanting to go and stay in the U.S. ilegally. What a shame!
Take a look at this news -> http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-21/brazilians-buy-miami-condos-at-bargain-prices-after-45-surge-in-currency.html
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Wizard
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December 12th, 2011 at 3:09:18 PM permalink
Thanks for the kind words, aluiso.

For more on the border crossing, check out this forum. For example, this post

Quote: afz

I occasionally post my experience, that day trippers do not need a visa to enter any of Brazil's border cities (I've been to three, including FdI, without a visa), but I always get shouted down by people who have never done it but claim that I must be lying. I have no idea why this question is so controversial. As far as I know it is official Brazilian policy that anybody can enter about 20km or so in from the border on a day trip without a visa.



Please tell the people in Brazil to buy real estate in Las Vegas. Prices are 60%+ off their highs -- and still dropping, unfortunately for me.

Would you be interested in writing something for me about the Iguazu Grand casino? PM me if so.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
pacomartin
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December 12th, 2011 at 3:14:31 PM permalink
Quote: aluisio

This reference to the visa waiver program is correct. Brazil is trying to get it from Obama and was trying to get it from Bush. I personally think that it will never happen, because even with our market growing a lot and our economy becoming stronger there will always be people wanting to go and stay in the U.S. ilegally. What a shame!



Well there are people from every country that want to stay in the US illegally. Greece keeps getting thrown in and out of the Visa Waiver Program. Not all of the EU countries are in the program. Ideally, it should just be a statistical analysis. Do visas keep out enough illegal immigrants that it is worth putting all the tourists through the trouble. The EU wants the visa waiver program extended to Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and Romania so that no EU citizens need to fill out a visa.

Extreme politicians in the USA want to abolish the VWP entirely (in effect since 1988), so that even visitors from the UK have to apply for a visa. The argument is that terrorists will sneak into a country to take advantage of the program. See Abolish the Visa Waiver Program .

But the EU retaliates at the US for increased security measures. So it is not just Brazil and USA that have tiffs.

At any rate, basic facts about Brazil are not widely known in the USA. I think many Americans would be shocked to learn that half the people in South America do not speak Spanish. Brazil's fertility rate is only higher than that of the USA by 6%, and that small difference is predicted to close in the next ten years (according to US census department estimates). Brazil has a stable economy, and a solid middle class.

Thank you for recommending the ride.
aluisio
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December 12th, 2011 at 4:17:43 PM permalink
This ride is awesome you should try! It's true that many facts are unknown about South America. When I lived in Harrisburg, PA, I used to have endless conversations about the myths people tell about Brazil, it was funny!
No bounce, no play.
pacomartin
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December 12th, 2011 at 4:43:44 PM permalink
Quote: aluisio

When I lived in Harrisburg, PA, I used to have endless conversations about the myths people tell about Brazil, it was funny!



Harrisburg is planning to declare bankruptcy and throw themselves on the mercy of the state.
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