Frank Sinatra and prescriptivism

This summer, driving through France, one of the CDs we played was “The best of Frank Sinatra”. Singing along with his very popular “That’s Life” (1966), my attention was suddenly caught by his use of laying for lying: “Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face …” (sung here a bit faster than on our own version). Ha! Would that be one of the reasons why lie/lay is the most treated usage problem in the usage guides in the HUGE database?

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2 Responses to Frank Sinatra and prescriptivism

  1. Tony Parr says:

    Is that a dangling modifier I see before my eyes, Ingrid? :-) (I should add that I’ve only really started to notice them properly during the past couple of years, after hearing all about them in your blog!)

  2. Haha, it must be due to what being on holiday does to you!

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