laid off or layed off

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  • Philippa

    Senior Member
    Britain - English
    Does the word 'layed' exist at all? As in 'his work is clearly layed out'.
    I just love report writing!! :p
    Thank you!
    Philippa :)
     

    MissFit

    Senior Member
    Does the word 'layed' exist at all? As in 'his work is clearly layed out'.
    I just love report writing!! :p
    Thank you!
    Philippa :)
    Yes, layed exists. It is the past participle of to lie, as in to lie down and take a nap. To lie is an intransitive verb; it cannot have a direct object. Laid is the past participle of to lay, as in to lay your head down on the pillow. To lay is a transitive verb; it always has a direct object. There are probably several threads on the difference between those two verbs.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Yes, layed exists. It is the past participle of to lie, as in to lie down and take a nap. To lie is an intransitive verb; it cannot have a direct object. Laid is the past participle of to lay, as in to lay your head down on the pillow. To lay is a transitive verb; it always has a direct object. There are probably several threads on the difference between those two verbs.
    Evidence please?
    I mean, seriously, not confrontationally.
    The OED places layed as very distantly archaic.
    Is layed a common usage now?
     

    SiteReader

    New Member
    American English
    Yes, layed exists. It is the past participle of to lie, as in to lie down and take a nap. To lie is an intransitive verb; it cannot have a direct object. Laid is the past participle of to lay, as in to lay your head down on the pillow. To lay is a transitive verb; it always has a direct object. There are probably several threads on the difference between those two verbs.
    "Now I lay me down to sleep/I pray to God my soul to keep ..."
    You see it's not so simple. Here "to lay" is a reflexive verb having essentially the same meaning as the respondent's definition of the intransitive verb "to lie." In real language, archaic usages coexist with so-called "modern" usage. If they did not, it would not be a language, but a collection of textbook rules. The questioner should probably be advised to use "laid" rather than "layed," but with the understanding that this is more of a convention than a hard and fast rule. Dictionary definitions are not a substitute for general literacy.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Yes, layed exists. It is the past participle of to lie, as in to lie down and take a nap.
    No, this is thoroughly incorrect. The past participle of the verb "to lie" is "lain":

    I have often lain awake in bed, listening to the crickets.

    It would be ungrammatical to say "I have layed awake in bed..."

    The past participle of the verb "to lay" is pronounced the way "layed" would be pronounced if it existed in English, but it is spelled laid. There is no word in modern English that is spelled L-A-Y-E-D.
     

    TommCatt

    New Member
    English - US
    It would be ungrammatical to say "I have layed awake in bed..."
    Wouldn't it be just as ungrammatical to say "I have laid awake in bed...?"
    The past participle of the verb "to lay" is pronounced the way "layed" would be pronounced if it existed in English, but it is spelled laid. There is no word in modern English that is spelled L-A-Y-E-D.
    Just as there ain't no word spelled A-I-N-'-T. That may be true but so what? When speaking, one may use the word "layed" or "laid" interchangeably. Since no one would be the wiser, then it can hardly be called an error in grammar. At worst it is an error in spelling and, fortunately for a good many of us, we do not have to worry about spelling errors when we speak.
    As for it being a spelling error, I have some pretty simple rules: if the spelling makes sense and if it is clearly understood by a casual reading of the word, then what difference does it make? Well, as far as making sense is concerned, "layed" actually is more sensible than "laid." Why should the PP of words like "lay" and "pay" be "laid" and "paid" when "display" is "displayed?" I know, griping about the lack of consistency in spelling rules (and grammar rules too, for that matter) is like complaining about the weather. But complaining about a particular spelling when that spelling is already in popular use is a bit like shaking your fist at the approaching storm. Maybe you will win, but I'm holding on to my umbrella.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    But complaining about a particular spelling when that spelling is already in popular use is a bit like shaking your fist at the approaching storm. Maybe you will win, but I'm holding on to my umbrella.
    Yes, popular use indeed...
    Lay, laid, [have] laid
    Pay, paid, [have] paid
    Say, said, [have] said

    Welcome to the forums, TommCatt:)
     

    Redshade

    Banned
    UK
    English.
    At the bottom of this letter is a poignant note in Darwin's hand. "When I am dead, know that many times, I have kissed & cryed over this."

    I am currently reading a biography of Charles Darwin and remember this passage.

    Cryed or Cried?

    Or

    Laid or layed.

    I really take offense when people say: " it is this spelling and not that spelling."

    That is like saying to people "that is a wrong accent or dialect you must pronounce words in MY way"

    I WILL PRONOUNCE AND SPELL AS I SEE FIT I WILL NOT BE DICTATED TO.


    Sorry peeps , as you can guess this has hit a raw nerve.
     
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    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm not sure why, Redshade..

    Standardised spelling simply has to do with ease of communication...
    I really take offense when people say: " it is this spelling and not that spelling."

    That is like saying to people "that is a wrong accent or dialect you must pronounce words in MY way"

    I WILL PRONOUNCE AND SPELL AS I SEE FIT I WILL NOT BE DICTATED TO.
     

    Redshade

    Banned
    UK
    English.
    Hi Loob .

    I am not suggesting a free for all a la text speak or street slang .

    English is irregular enough to be able to accept different spellings/formations. It is an historical fact that "regularization"
    is an inherent part of language evolution that succeedes to variable degrees.

    I well remember my relief at being told in my first Latin lessons that all verbs are regular. Only to be told later that there are at least eight "regular" and different constructions.

    Aarrgghh!
     
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    blaker

    New Member
    English
    What about in this phrase?

    The chicken layed an egg.

    Wouldn't that be the proper spelling/usage?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    No, it should be "laid an egg".

    However, for the reason given in post #17 above, we might think it looked right.
     

    RpD

    New Member
    English US
    And willful anachronisms can be pedantic...

    Now I lay me down... fits the poem's meter better than... Now I lie down... but few people speak that way now.
     

    wordhabitude

    New Member
    English
    I think that the correct spelling of laid (not layed) is important for effective and precise communication and I really appreciate all of the postings regarding word origins and technical usages.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    MW records 'layoff' as a noun since 1889. The OED (this entry last updated in 1933) has it as two words or hyphenated, although presently examples of one word are relatively common.

    In your second example, it is also a noun - compare "accident claim", not "accidental claim"
     
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