An article recently stated that sitting is the new smoking, meaning prolonged sitting is bad for your heath. The article holds that the human body is built to move, not sit for hours at a time, whether it is behind a desk or on the sofa. Sitting too much can cause digestive problems, organ damage, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, muscle degeneration, and leg disorders. My problem with sit is not in the posture itself, it’s the way the word is used, and how often it is confused it with set.
Sit is an intransitive verb, or an action performed by the subject. It does need not the help of an object. It performs its task nicely on its own.
She sits; he sits, we sit. Simple.
Set is a transitive verb, or an action that is accomplished with something. In other words, an object has to follow set. She set the flowerpot on the patio table. She set the brush pile on fire. Think of set this way: the flowerpot can’t place itself on the table, nor can the brush pile ignite itself.
Now here’s some practice sentences:
1. Gerald did not _____ long, once he noticed a wasp nest under the bench.
2. Edith refused to _____ next to her cousin, George, who always reeked of Limburger cheese and heady sausage.
3. I always _____ my glass of ice tea on a coaster because my mother raised me right.
4. My dog loves to _____ on my foot to prevent me from leaving.
5. I told the waiter to _____ the check next to you.
If you fill in the blanks correctly, reward yourself by taking a nice, healthy walk to the corner store for a bag of chips and a full-strength soda.