Why grammar matters: Bruno Mars’ ‘The Lazy Song’

Why does grammar matter?  Look to Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” to find out.  He sings about wanting to laze about, but then his line “I just wanna lay in bed” shows up.  What’s up with the that?  The meaning of “lay in bed” is to “have sex with someone in bed,” which confuses the rest of his song, especially when he sings about having sex the next day.  Does he mean to be lazy or doesn’t he?  Or does he mean to have lazy sex one day and then some other type the next day?  Mars most likely meant “lie in bed,” to lounge about in bed.  Of course, perhaps he has the last laugh: it is a lazy song, including in one example of grammar.

2 thoughts on “Why grammar matters: Bruno Mars’ ‘The Lazy Song’

  1. While I don’t claim to be a wordsmith, I do have a degree in English, and think I have an “okay” handle on slang, but I’ve never heard/used “lay in bed” as a term for getting the sex on.

    Clearly one can “lay” another person and “getting laid” means getting sex, but I’ve never interpreted someone saying “lay in bed” as they were having sex. I interpreted them to be sleeping in their bed.

    I’m assuming that the difference between lay and lie (and there/they’re/their or to/too) is lost upon 90% of the populace, and truly doesn’t effect/affect the interpretation of this song.

    PS Stop being such a prescriptivist. ;)

  2. That’s exactly what I thought when I first heard him say it; ‘lay’ is past tense, so why does he use it instead of ‘lie’…?

    (English is my second language, so I had to look up the ambiguous meaning of ‘lay in bed’.)

    Well, maybe you’re right and he called his song this way, because he was too lazy to use english grammar correctly…

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