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Letter: You Made My Teeth Hurt

To the Editor:

It’s clear that the editors of the Valley News did not have Miss Noel for 11th-grade English, as I did. If they had, they would know the correct usage for the words “lay” and “lie.” Twice in the Sunday edition — once in a caption in the Sports section and again in the editorial — gasp! — they referred to someone “laying on the ground.” Makes your teeth hurt, doesn’t it? As Miss Noel often reminded us: Chickens lay; people lie.

I’ll spare everyone a discussion of transitive versus intransitive verbs. Just reach for that English usage guide on your desk, or Google it for that matter. I cannot solve the problem for you. I can only lay it at your feet. The solutions lies with you.

Stephen Campbell



Letter: Noteworthy Items in the Paper

Friday, February 8, 2013

To the Editor: The recent publication of so many good things has finally impelled me to write. Foremost among them is Chuck Wooster’s new Perspectives page commentary on the property tax, “Subtraction by Land Subdivision,” published Feb. 3. If this mindset gains currency, it might actually be possible to make progress in our method of local taxation. At least it …

Letter: Fighting Losing Battles

Friday, February 8, 2013

To the Editor: Although I share Stephen Campbell’s distress as “lay” supplants “lie” in the national vocabulary (Forum, Feb. 6), I am less sanguine about the outcome. Languages evolve democratically, and a change is cemented as soon as more people employ the new usage than the old one. By that measure, the lay/lie battle was lost years ago, and scolding …