laid off or layed off

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nurse_guera, May 19, 2006.

  1. nurse_guera New Member

    United States
    Spanish/English -USA
    Help me please...

    Is is "laid off" or "layed off" from a job?

  2. maxiogee Banned

    Laid off .
  3. nurse_guera New Member

    United States
    Spanish/English -USA
    Thank you. That is what I thought.
  4. Philippa

    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 :)
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Layed seems to have been an alternative spelling until the 17th century (OED).
  6. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    I agree with panj...if I saw layed, I would consider it 100% wrong.
  7. MissFit

    MissFit Senior Member

    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.
  8. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    I don't think so: The Concise Oxford Dictionary and Collins both give only lain in this sense, not layed.
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Evidence please?
    I mean, seriously, not confrontationally.
    The OED places layed as very distantly archaic.
    Is layed a common usage now?
  10. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    According to this site which has the only purpose of teaching people the correct spelling, layed is a misspelt version of the past participle of to lay.
  11. SiteReader New Member

    American English
    "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.
  12. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    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.
  13. TommCatt New Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    English - US
    Wouldn't it be just as ungrammatical to say "I have laid awake in bed...?"
    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.
  14. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Yes, popular use indeed...
    Lay, laid, [have] laid
    Pay, paid, [have] paid
    Say, said, [have] said

    Welcome to the forums, TommCatt:)
  15. Redshade Banned

    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?


    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"


    Sorry peeps , as you can guess this has hit a raw nerve.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  16. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

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

    Standardised spelling simply has to do with ease of communication...
  17. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    It is easy to get confused:

    delay -> delayed
    relay -> relayed
    belay -> belayed
    inlay -> inlaid
    overlay -> overlaid
    lay off -> laid off
  18. Redshade Banned

    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.

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  19. blaker New Member

    What about in this phrase?

    The chicken layed an egg.

    Wouldn't that be the proper spelling/usage?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. wordhabitude New Member

    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.
  23. amado.w New Member

    Perú Español
  24. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    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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