EvenBob
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 enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Wizard
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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! :-))

It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
EvenBob
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 enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
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"?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
EvenBob
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 enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
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.
NO KILL I
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
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

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