You gotta gooder way to speak English?

One of my mother’s favorite conversational pastimes was pointing out errors in common language usage. Such expressions as "I could care less" amused her because the speaker meant to say "I couldn’t care less."  Now, there is an excellent website devoted to this topic — no,not the topic of my mother’s conversational interests, but the topic of COMMON ERRORS IN MODERN ENGLISH
It also clears up errors about supposed errors.  One of which I am guilty is making a big deal out of loan/lend.  Loan is a noun/lend is a verb.  I lend you money, I don’t loan you money. In fact, I don’t lend you money either because I have none to lend.  Bob Dylan didn’t sing, "please don’t feel so all a lend."  In truth, loan may be used as a verb. It is okay.
ChickenIt is also okay to eat chicken with your fingers, much as it is okay to eat chicken with mayonnaise.

4 Responses to “You gotta gooder way to speak English?”

  1. Anea

    All these years of you telling me the loan vs lend thing and it isn’t even true! Next you will tell me that Mom’s lay vs lie thing also is just picky fiction 😉

  2. Burl Barer

    You lay down the book you’ve been reading, but you lie down when you go to bed. In the present tense, if the subject is acting on some other object, it’s “lay.” If the subject is lying down, then it’s “lie.” This distinction is often not made in informal speech, partly because in the past tense the words sound much more alike: “He lay down for a nap,” but “He laid down the law.” If the subject is already at rest, you might “let it lie.” If a helping verb is involved, you need the past participle forms. “Lie” becomes “lain” and “lay” becomes “laid”: “He had just lain down for a nap,” and “His daughter had laid the gerbil on his nose.”

  3. randy Johnson

    Talking about loan/lend reminded me of an incorrect usage I’ve heard on TV a number of times lately. Someone will be suing a person for payment of a loan on one of the Judge shows. They’ll say, “I borrowed them the money and now they won’t repay it.” I cringe every time I hear that.

  4. Danny Barer

    Then there’s a verb like “rent,” which can refer either to allowing a person to use your property for a fee, or using someone else’s property for a fee.


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