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Buck's English: Is it OK to 'lie down' in a TV show?

Gene Owens: In reproducing dialogue, whether on paper or on screen, you try to tell it the way people say it.
By Gene Owens, For The Oklahoman Published: March 30, 2014

Buck reckons the day will arrive when the proper dictionaries will ratify the common misuse of “lay” as an intransitive verb, and we can all say “I’m gonna lay down for a nap” in good conscience. But at present, usage authorities are still holding out for “I’m going to lie down.” They will also insist that you set the food on the table but sit while you’re eating it. Buck would rather see English teachers teach their pupils the difference and correct them when they’re wrong.

“Uncle Hadacol likes to lay down in the hay,” said Ms. Clarisse van Beauregard.

“That’s a lie,” said Miss Lulabelle. “He likes to lie in the hay, but he always says ‘lay’ in the presence of his peers.”

Send questions for Buck to Please let Buck know what town you're from. For other writing by Gene Owens, go to


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