Sleeping Dogs Dont Lay: Practical Advice For The Grammatically Challenged by Richard LedererFor years Richard Lederer has enthralled fans of the English language with his keen insights, commonsense advice, and witty presentation. Now Lederer has teamed up with Richard Dowis to take readers on another journey through the worlds most wonderful, albeit perplexing, language. How many times have we all heard the word viable used in company meetings? Lederer and Dowis show us how viable, somewhere along the line, was extracted from medical books, where it literally means capable of living, and placed into the business lexicon, where it means...well, who knows?
The authors clear up once and for all the confusion between lay and lie and put to rest some common myths about language. The books finale is a ten-minute writing lesson from which everyone, from rank amateur to seasoned pro, can benefit. These and dozens of other features make this book pure pleasure for language buffs, writers, and teachers. Sleeping Dogs Dont Lay is useful and authoritative as well as fun to read, with humorous touches often popping up where least expected and most needed.
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The meaning and origin of the expression: Let sleeping dogs lie
I always struggle with lay and lie in a sentence. Yes, today we look at grammar. What is the rule for lay versus lie? We know that telling an untruth is a lie, but what about when we put our heads on our pillows? Or the dog does the same? Or a tool is left on the ground?
But do they continually befuddle me? Thankfully, the answers to such perplexing questions are now but a few keystrokes away. You lay or place something, as in: Lay the carpet or lay the book on the table. But you lie on a bed or other flat surface. Continual implies recurrence at regular or frequent intervals—for example, playing baseball requires continual practice. A corporation evaluates the effectiveness of its products and implements change on a continual basis.
What really matters? This blog pursues issues of language that are most likely to distract and annoy your readers. You'll find quizzes, examples, and a practical discussion of issues that come up. You are also invited to submit questions as well as "wonderful, awful" examples you find in print or on signs. Neita, thanks for another helpful blog. I like the way you use the blue font for headings and emphasis.
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Geoffrey Chaucer was one of the first to put this notion into print, in Troilus and Criseyde , circa , although the belief itself may well be much older:. The expression may have started as a warning about the risk of waking a potentially dangerous animal, but it later turned metaphorical. By the time it became established as a proverb its meaning had 'leave well alone', or as we might have it in the 21st century, "if it ain't broke don't fix it". The cautionary phrase was well enough known by the 16th century for it to have been included as a proverb in John Heywood's definitive A Dialogue Prouerbes English Tongue , It is so closely associated with him as to have been the source of a later cartoon.