Thursday, October 8, 2009

Loosen up, but not too loose!

I always wonder what causes trends in language, trends that take a simple word and change it from correct usage to incorrect. This happens more often than you might think, and one such trend I've noticed with increasing frequency of late is the use of loose when the meaning people intend to convey is lose.

The pronunciation is different, of course, as well as the spelling, so what makes it difficult to differentiate between loose (loos) and lose (looz)? What's so hard about a sentence such as "If you play loose and easy with your money, you can lose your fortune overnight"?

The differences seem clear to me. However, if you're having difficulty remembering which spelling you should use, try thinking "loose as a goose" and notice the similar spellings. If you know that loose rhymes with goose, you're not likely to write that you're about to loose your mind.

At least I hope you won't.

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