Buck never intended his discussions of “lie” and “lay” to get tangled up in the Bedlam rivalry, but Ralph Thompson, of Oklahoma City, says the rivalry is there despite all good efforts.
As Ralph tells it, Oklahoma State still has a bit of hay and fodder clinging to its reputation as a consequence of its former life as Oklahoma A&M. So Oklahoma U. students like to taunt their rivals from Stillwater as “Aggies.” Students and alumni of Oklahoma University see themselves as a tad higher on the social ladder than the Cowboys, while OSU fans see their rivals from Norman as effete “tea sippers.”
“At one football game, which OSU was losing badly, one of Oklahoma’s running backs was flattened by an OSU defender and was flat on his back on the field,” Ralph said. “A Cowboys fan jumped to his feet, clanged his cow bell, and shouted, ‘Let him lay there and bleed!’”
A fan, sitting behind him in a proper tweed jacket and OU cap, tapped the Aggie on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, but it’s ‘Let him lie there and bleed.’”
“As a story, I think it’s fun, and I am fairly confident on the transitive/intransitive correctness question,” said Ralph, “I wonder what you think?”
Buck is pretty confident OSU fans can come up with a few anecdotes about Cowboys laying Sooners on the turf, but he won’t get involved in that.
The tweed-wearing Sooner was grammatically correct. The running back was left to lie there until the trainers came to his aid. He may have been laid on a stretcher and carried off the field. But Buck really doubts that the Sooner fan placed proper grammar ahead of the welfare of his running back. After all, it was Bedlam.
Send questions for Buck to BucksEnglish@AOL.com. Please let Buck know what town you're from. For other writing by Gene Owens, go to www.wadesdixieco.com.