today’s grammar post
March 21, 2007
Does “Now I lay me down to sleep” make you cringe?
I actually use this one as a sort of trick question when teaching grammar. “Now I lay me” is weirdly archaic, but the verb isn’t wrong, because in this case, “me” is being used as the object. For example, both of these are correct:Now I lie down.Now I lay myself down.(But “Now I lay down” is just wrong. If you “lay,” you need to lay something).That being said, “Now I lay me” should actually be “Now I lay MYSELF.”Which sounds awfully dirty for a children’s prayer.