Thursday 30 July 2015

Working in Ottawa today --Nauseous verbs

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

I saw a commercial this AM advertising Gravol, where within, a character says, ".. feeling nauseous? Take Gravol liquid caps.." or something to that effect.

This caught my attention as my understanding has always been that nauseous meant causes nausea and that persons suffering the effects of such a nauseant were feeling nauseated or suffering with nausea.  Now I figured I could be wrong, since I would expect a company like the makers of Gravol to know a thing or two about nausea as it is their raison d'état.

Oooh.. a bit of French tossed in at 8 AM, very fancy there Uncle Daniel!

Thank you gentle reader.  So look into definitions of nauseous I did, and in a moment resulting in total distraction found a reference that provided two definitions.  That which causes nausea; and affected with nausea.

I am not sure when nauseous came to mean both, but it may be a case of the ever evolving English language and how the meaning of words has become descriptive rather that prescriptive. 


The distraction: the example in one online source did give an example of "She laid down as she felt nauseous".

This caused me untolds (well I guess I am telling you) of grief as I could not readily determine if the author used the correct verb.

Let me explain.

Lay is a transitive verb and it means to place something down. It requires an object.
Lie is an intransitive verb and is used for something or someone moving on their own or something or someone that's already in position.

Of course there is also the deception verb, Lie. Also intransitive if I remember correctly.

The verb principal forms of each is:

Lay, Laid, Have Laid, Laying.
Lie, Lay, Have Lain, Lying.
Lie, Lied, Have Lied, Lying.

So what did the nauseated women do?

I don't think she laid down since there is no object in that sentence, only a subject.  She.  I suppose she could have laid her self down, "She laid herself down as she felt nauseated.".  But it sounds wrong to say, "She lay down as she felt nauseated.".

Maybe "She was lying down as she had felt nauseated." But that is past tense!  What is she doing now?

"She is lying down."


That must be it.

She told a lie about feeling nauseated just as she had lied before so that she could lay down as she had laid down before just and now was lying while she was lying about laying.

English as she is spoken.

Have a great day.  Keep all of your verbs in check.


  1. I feel nauseous after reading that last bit. I may need to lay myself/lie down.