Sunday, 05 June 2005

Ok, time for a random pet-peeve post. I don't do these often, but I figure maybe I can change the whole world if I post this, so here goes:

People, listen up. If you learn only one grammatical/spelling/language rule this year, please make it this one... It will improve your sales figures, professional development, ability to earn promotions and recognition at work, and your general status in the community. Seriously.

Loose is a four-letter word.

Now, allow me to explain...

  • Loose = loos = adj/adv, meaning not tight, fastened, restrained, rigid, bound, etc.
  • Lose = looz = verb, meaning to fail in, or to fail to retain possession (opposite of win or find)

I can't even begin to tell you the number of emails, blog entries, letters, and even printed and online professional news articles (who's copy-editing these days anyhow?) I've read where members of the Hooked-on-Phonics generation (dat's Huhked-ahn-Fonikz fer yoo membrz) use the incorrect word in a variety of sentences.

Examples of improper use of "loose" in a sentence:

  • "Joe is such a looser. I can't believe that guy."
  • "If you don't try hard enough, you'll loose the game."

Examples of correct use of "loose" in a sentence:

  • "He's got a screw loose in his head."
  • "Your seatbelt is looser than mine."

I could also easily list a variety of colorful uses of both words in the same sentence - but I won't. Use your imagination and post a comment if you feel so inclined.

How have you seen these words (or others) completely butchered? Any funny examples?

Add/Read: Comments [4]
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Sunday, 05 June 2005 18:43:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Loose/lose is my number one online pet peeve. I even saw it in a CNN article once... [sigh]
Tuesday, 07 June 2005 08:12:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I'm much more annoyed by irregardless ( But irregardless of that we can't all have the omnipotent grammar-checking-eye of a school teacher. Some of us will loose our jobs if we spent all day checking our grammar.
Tuesday, 07 June 2005 13:06:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Its/It's is my pet peeve, although I'm not very word-police about it. I figure we don't talk like Shakespeare anymore, so I might as well relax or when I get as old as my ex-father-in-law, I'll have veins popping out of my head when I see grammatical mistakes exactly like him.

I'll now think of you every time I see a loose/lose mistake now. It's the Greg Hughes grammatical error to me now.
Friday, 17 June 2005 13:10:29 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
"your/you're" is a favorite. I've seen it at the mall: "Smile, your on camera!" and any number of other places. But my favorite was grafitti written on a desk at school: "Your Stupid."

My bigger pet peeve, though, is the mis-use of apostrophe's. ;)
"Come and buy some strawberry's" "Time for fun and game's!"
Arrgh! I've been tempted to run around with a big can of white-out to fix all the advertising I see with these errors.
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