Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hey Jenny Hey



Please help me welcome the very funny author and blogger, Jenny Baranick to my blog today. Jenny regularly blogs at "Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares" and the book of the same name was recently released. Congrats Jenny! Her book is a great way to learn about the do's and don't's of grammar in a no snooze way!
Today Jenny is going to educate us on the correct usage of the word, "lay."
Have at it, Jenny!
Lie Dylan Lie

In Bob Dylan’s autobiography Chronicles, Vol. 1 he wrote, “All I'd ever done was sing songs that were dead straight and expressed powerful new realities, I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of."

Basically, Dylan just wanted to sing folk music; he never wanted to be heralded as the voice of his generation. So, in order to dispel his reputation as a guru, he confessed to doing things like pouring whiskey on his head (what a waste of whiskey!) and walking into department stores and acting drunk.

But I think Dylan went beyond trying to negate his guru status; I think he did something very subtle to get revenge on the citizens who made his life a living hell by stalking him in hopes that he’d bestow upon them the meaning of life. And I think the revenge was grammatical. 

You may have heard of the song “Lay Lady Lay.” The first line says, “Lay Lady Lay. Lay across my big brass bed.”

Thanks to the fact that many considered Dylan the trusted voice of their generation, they must have trusted he used “lay” correctly in his song. Well, he didn’t. And I believe he did this on purpose to mislead the generation. I bet he laughs himself to sleep every night when he thinks about how he tricked an entire nation into misusing the word “lay.”

In hopes of being the grammatical voice of this generation, I am here to tell you when to use “lay” and when to use “lie.”

On second thought, buy my newly released grammar guide Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares. You can find the answer on page 7!     
 
You can purchase Jenny's book HERE!! Thank you for gracing my blog with your grammatically correct presence today, Jenny! You rock!           

38 comments:

E.J. Wesley said...

Big fan of Jenny's, and you're oh so correct: She's hilarious. :-)

And let's face it, anyone who can weave a grammar lesson into an informative Bob Dylan piece is just aces all the way around.

Douglas Florian said...

Probably half of Dylan's songs are grammatically incorrect. Just off the top of my head:
"It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe..."
"Who killed Davie Moore, why, and what's the reason for?"
"She aches just like a woman,"
"it ain't me, babe"

And "Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when youre trying to be quiet? (from Visions of Johanna)

cleemckenzie said...

I loved that song and that transitive verb drove me nuts! Sounds like a super book. Now if only it can undo all the damage Dylan did to that verb usage. :-)

Missed Periods said...

Thank you, Kelly. I love the Pic! Bob and I would have been a cute couple!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

He didn't fool me!

Laura Pauling said...

I love the title of the book! Hilarious! :)

Janet Johnson said...

Jenny is my favorite grammar blogger of all time. Oh Dylan . . . how could you have misled us like that?!!!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>...In Bob Dylan’s autobiography Chronicles, Vol. 1

JENNY ~
You don't actually own that book, do you? You just came across the quote somewhere and used it, right?

Recently, I have been considering buying Dylan's 'Chronicles, Vol. 1'.

I really hate to admit this, because I don't think of myself as a total boob when it comes to grammar... just half a boob. (What's that? A "bo"?) But I love 'Lay, Lady, Lay'. Have heard it a godzillian times, even own it on compact disc. But it never once occurred to me that the title was grammatically incorrect. (DOH! I need yer book so bad, 'cause... evidently I really AM a full grammar boob!)

And, by the way, several times on my blogs, I have publicly credited Bob Dylan's album 'Bringing It All Back Home' for teaching me whatever I know about Creative Writing. In fact, just a month and four days ago I wrote on my blog, "No him [Dylan], no me." (That sentence was actually borrowed from Dizzy Gillespie, who said of Louis Armstrong, "No him, no me.")

Anyway, this blog bit was good stuffs!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Lydia Kang said...

That book sounds so funny and useful! I didn't know Dylan felt that way--how interesting!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Love that song but never considered whether the grammar was correct. I always have to look up "lay" and "lie."

Ciara said...

I never think too much about grammar in a song. Guess this book would be a wise purchase on my part.

Shelly said...

It's a real mine field to have to teach the lay, laid, lie lesson in middle school.

Kim Kasch said...

Love the title - and who "MISSES" those things ;D

Kelly Polark said...

EJ- Yes, that girl is aces all around! :)
Douglas - Ha! And those were just off the top of your head. You must be a Bob Dylan fan!
Lee- Yes, I think Dylan should have Jenny's book on his website to undo all the damage he's done! ;)
Jenny - You two lovebirds, you!
Alex - You are a smartypants!
Laura - Very clever!
Janet - I would have to agree with you!
Stephen - That may be my longest comment ever! Thank you for that.
Lydia - I didn't know he felt that way either. But then again, I didn't ask him! ;)
Natalie - I do too!
Ciara - I think we could find plenty of grammar errors in plenty of songs in all genres!
Shelly - Perhaps you can use this lesson! :)
Kim - Ha!

Marisa Hopkins said...

I hate how often I confuse lay and lie. I will forever, after this day, blame Bob Dylan for programming my brain wrong ;) Also, I think I need this book!

Marcia said...

LOL, I think we have to grant Bob some artistic license; "Lie Lady Lie" would have bombed even if it hadn't been ambiguous.:D

LOVE that book title! I'm going to visit her blog.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

What a great sounding book! I've seen it mentioned in a couple places just lately. :)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

KELLY ~

>>...That may be my longest comment ever! Thank you for that.

Ha! You're welcome. But... seriously? That's actually a rather brief comment for me. I've often posted comments that required two Comment Windows because I used more characters than the system will allow in one Comment Window.

I guess I'm just a blabbermouth.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Jennifer Shirk said...

Great story about Dylan!

This is a book I really need! :-)

Bish Denham said...

Lay is for chickens, lie is for people.

James Garcia Jr. said...

Hi, Kelly. Hi, Jenny.
I studied that photo for minutes and have questions. If they were together that long ago, how come Jenny still looks adorable and Dylan looks as old as dirt? Was it the lifestyle? ;)
Thanks for sharing, ladies.

-Jimmy

Theresa Milstein said...

Ha! I love Jenny. And I've read page 7, so I can tell everyone it does clarify lay vs. lie in a way more fun way than other grammar books.

LTM said...

Hilariousness. And I like your face in hole picture. Verah nice!

It's just that "lie, lady, lie" doesn't have quite the same ring to it... :D <3

Christina Farley said...

It is a good title. I need that for my 2nd grade classroom. My students are always forgetting their periods.

Jackee said...

LOVE Dylan. And I love that he never has cared if people love him or not. :o) Thanks for the link to your new book and best of luck with it, Jenny! Thanks for sharing the interview, Kelly! <3

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