Posts Tagged ‘lay vs. lie’

Recently, we called out an error in a TV ad and online catalog for Hanes t-shirts. The mistake we pointed out is “… a collar that lays flat…” in the voice over, and Lay Flat Collar” in the product description.

Please see our post: Just wait’ll we get our grammar on you …

We fired off an email to the copywriter (at the ad agency) who wrote the spot for Hanes. We thought you might like to be privy to the response we received from the ad’s author:

“I appreciate the catch. But I have to say that we knew what we were doing when we sent it out the door. The product had already been named. And, honestly, grammar doesn’t mean much in advertising. What sounds better is more important. And the ‘Lie-Flat Collar’ doesn’t sound too hot.”

Now, this is too bad. Even though we have mentioned the incorrect use of lay in our Lost causes? post, it doesn’t mean we’re going to let the subject lie.

We disagree that grammar doesn’t mean much in advertising. We have more faith in consumers than to expect them to tolerate poor grammar. And, while we do agree that what sounds better is important … for all of our fans who think good grammar is “hot,” we disagree with the statement that “… the ‘Lie-Flat Collar’ doesn’t sound too hot.”

We think it’s a shame that there are those who promote poor grammar and perpetuate the nerve-grating sounds of these language rules broken, especially in advertising to a public audience.

What are your thoughts? Take our poll:

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Oh, Hanes …

Gentlemen prefer good grammar. The lady prefers good grammar. Look who we’ve got our grammar on now!

You may choose to “Go Tagless” … we just hope you won’t continue to “Go Grammarless.”

We were shocked when we heard the announcer on the Hanes TV commercial say (when referring to their men’s t-shirts):

“… a collar that lays flat … that’s the comfort fit promise.”

Then, we checked the Hanes Web site, and sure enough, the error lies right there in plain sight:

Hanes Classics Men’s ComfortSoft® TAGLESS® Crewneck – Lay Flat Collar!

(click on image for a larger view)

hanes lay flat collar

So, we probably should not have been so shocked. After all, we did discuss “lay vs. lie” in our Lost causes? and Lie like a rug … posts a while back, however, we cannot just let it lie. And, it seems that the English language, at least the American usage of it, is evolving to include such deviations from what has long been considered proper. Ouch!

We’ll just say that this continues to lie on our list of pet peeves, and we remain hopeful that advertisers will lay off the mistakes and come to their grammar senses.

We’ll lead the charge by laying down the grammar law, arresting and citing the copywriters and sending them to word court.

Tweet Me from https://grammarcops.wordpress.com

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Grammar goof of the day: In a Sea Ray boat magazine ad: “The seat backs open so you can lay flat on the sunpad.” Should be: lie

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