Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TO/TOO/TWO TUESDAY for September 23, 2008


Whoever writes captions for these pictures should be bitten by this lioness a few times until they understand the importance of proofreading. Sigh. I know spell-check won't pick up homonym errors, but I thought the altar/alter one was pretty simple and that most people knew the difference and wouldn't make this silly mistake in the first place. (Altar = noun; alter = verb.) This lioness is lying on an altar (noun).

What baffles me even more than the silliness of this homonym error is that the lioness is lying on her altar so calmly. She's not cornering people and making meals out of them. She's not gnawing on anyone's limbs. She's just lying there like a pretty kitty (albeit a pretty big kitty). Whoever tamed this lioness obviously did a good job!

**Hat tip to BikerPuppy and J. Kasten for the laying/lying assistance! (Wherever was my head, you guys?!?)

7 comments:

aramink said...

What about the misuse of "lays"? I find that one egregious, even in common speech.

The lioness lies on an altar. She is the one acting. No one placed her there. If she was an object which had to be placed, then "lays' would be appropriate. For example, "The priest lays the book on the altar, and reaches next for the bell and candle with which to perform the ritual."

Even looking at it lying there, we can't say that the book itself "lays." The book "lies." It "was laid." It "has lain" for several minutes.

The lioness lies. She lay herself down. (As in, "Now I lay me down to sleep," etc.)She has also lain on the altar for several minutes. She is lying there calmly as the priest approaches with the lit candle, ringing that damn bell, intoning the incantation...."

Oops. Sorry. I got carried away.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Oh, man. Hell, *I* made this mistake too as I pre-wrote this post in a hurry last week while trying to get ready for my vacation! (I only realized my error when two kind readers e-mailed me about it, and then I was *horrified* at my own mistake!) :)

Great grammar lesson, Aramink!

BikerPuppy said...

Grammar geeks unite!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Damn right. Let's hear it for the grammar geeks! :)

jen shikami said...

Is that even an altar? Looks like a wadded-up tarp on the floor to me...

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Maybe there's an altar under that tarp...or maybe they're just lyin' about where the lion's lying! :)

The Punctuator said...

What about "Hurricane like", which is unnecessarily capitolized, and shouldn't it be hyphenated?