Today’s conundrum centers around the debate between “may” and “can.” This one’s fairly simple – if you’re asking permission to take something or to do something, use “may.”
“Susan, may I please use your car this afternoon?”
If you’re carrying on the time-honored tradition of gleeking and want to demonstrate this wonderful talent to a gathering of friends, you’d use “can” to indicate that you have the ability to perform this miraculous feat. For those of you not in the know, “gleeking” is a term used to mean the projection of saliva from the submandibular gland by compression of the tongue. Try it sometime!
“Look at this – I can gleek 10 feet!”
So remember – “may” indicates asking permission, while “can” indicates ability. Not sure where gleeking will get you, but good luck!