A 13 year old boy asked me in Shul this week, why do the people who count using the phrase "לעומר" still refer to this day as ל"ג בעומר and not ל"ג לעומר.
If you count "BaOmer" it means that you are counting the days that have accumulated thus far. You are counting the amount of days that have already transpired of the Omer. "Today is the 5th day BaOmer" means starting from day one, there were five days of the Omer that have accumulated so far. "BaOmer" means "into the Omer."
If you count "LaOmer" it means you are counting the amount of days that have been removed so far from he total days of the Omer. "Today is the 5th day LaOmer" means that of the 40 days of the Omer, 5 have been removed so far. "LaOmer" means "[removed] from the Omer."
Therefore, regardless of which way you count, you would still say "Lag BaOmer." Because when we say "Lag BaOmer," we are referring to a particular day, not the amount of days that have been subtracted from the total Omer. "LaOmer" is only appropriate as a method of counting - counting the days that have been subtracted from the Omer. But when saying Lag BaOmer you are not describing counting the amount of days that have been subtracted, but rather describing the day itself, as being the 33rd day in the succession of the Omer. Therefore, you would say Lag BaOmer.
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