Before you think we are grammar Nazis,
let me explain why we are not.
Here's something your English teachers may not have told you: when enough people make a mistake in English, that mistake becomes accepted.
The language is in a constant state of change; otherwise we would be saying words like “forsooth,” “zounds,” “prithee,” and “whoreson.”
(Which I consider a far more powerful insult than our modern day practice of calling someone a male offspring of a female dog, which if you think about it is a pretty lame insult.)
It is the sacred duty of English teachers, wordsmiths, and grammar police to preserve language usage and make sure it doesn't change too fast. But Whirl is King.
One change that is going on today is the distinction between “lie” and “lay.” The traditional distinction is:
Lie = verb meaning to recline
Present: lie Past: lay Past perfect: lain
Present: I will lie on the floor. Lie down. I told them to lie down.
Past: She lay in the sun too long.
Past participle: The dead whale has lain on the beach for several hours.
Lay = verb meaning to place This is the verb that needs an object
Present: lay Past: laid Past perfect: laid
Present: Lay the book on the table.
Past: We laid a wreath on the casket.
Past perfect: We have laid the ingredients on the counter.
What we are seeing today is that even experienced writers who take pride in their language usage often write “lay” when there is no object. "I'm going to lay on the floor."
A high school English teacher told me she stopped trying to teach "lie" and "lay." Because of the sexual connotations associated with "lay" and “laid,” she lost control of her class of raging hormones whenever the words were mentioned.
And then there is Dylan's Lay lady lay and Clapton's Lay down Sally.
I don't know what is going to happen in the future but it seems as if “lie,” meaning recline may be headed toward oblivion to be replaced by “lay” to mean both recline and place. It would simplify the language without causing confusion. Many English words have more than one meaning. The word "lie" also means to tell an untruth.
While I am not especially fond of the word “lie,” I could never bring myself to lay down or to teach my dogs to lay down. In the back of my mind is an imaginary Miss Grundy rapping my knuckles with an imaginary ruler.