Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Loose Versus Lose

How ironic.  Now that I'm actively seeking out new typos as fodder for my blog, the world seems to have hired a stable of copy editors.  Have no fear -- I assure you this is a temporary situation.  The Blunder Brigade is still happily working away in the background.  I just have to dig a little deeper...

Today I'll tackle my latest irritant:  people who use "loose" when they mean "lose."

I see this error mostly in discussion group posts where formality isn't a concern.  What really disturbs me, though, is how many writers make this blunder.  In the cases of "eek" instead of "eke" or "shoot" rather than "chute", the words are pronounced the same and can get scrambled in the brain-hand-keyboard connection. (Not long ago, I went through a phase where every instance of their/there/they're I typed was the wrong one!)

But "loose" (with a hard 's') and "lose" (with an 's' that sounds like a 'z')?  Not buying this one -- especially from writers who should know better!

For the record, you lose your keys (or your mind).  You do not loose them.  (Well, technically you could, but in that context "loose" is more of an archaic term meaning to set something free.  Example:  "Loose the hounds!")

So if you're one of the many who use "loose" when you mean "lose" -- please stop it.

1 comment:

  1. Just check my blog. I'm sure you will find thousands.....I'm the Typo Queen.