Miley Cyrus Gets A Grammar Lesson
So I guess Sinead O’ Connor recently wrote Miley Cyrus a letter about not prostituting herself to the music industry. Or something like that.
In response, singer/songwriter/independent hipster Sufjan Stevens got in on the fun, writing Miley a letter about some grammar issues in one of her new songs called “Get It Right.”
Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time.
So there you go.
Sufjan’s grammar lesson is quite right, but I’m doubting the sincerity of his love of Miley’s music. He’s just a strange dude.
To his point, though, lie and lay are two of the most misused words in the English language.
Grammar Girl explains the correct way to use them:
If you exclude the meaning “to tell an untruth” and just focus on the setting/reclining meaning of lay and lie, then the important distinction is that lay requires a direct object and lie does not. So you lie down on the sofa (no direct object), but you lay the book down on the table (the book is the direct object).
Make sense? I mix these up when I’m talking all the time, but I’ve become decent at getting them right when I’m writing.
Enough about Miley Cyrus. Please shoot me if I ever bring up her name on this blog again.
Thanks for the lesson, Sufjan.