GrammarBlog

Monday, 8 October 2007

Loose Morals

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If the well-meaning but averagely-educated reader accused this blog of regularly eviscerating relatively innocuous grammatical errors, he or she might not be completely off-mark.


Obviously I don't agree, but I do think that we've missed out by not publicly skewering a few more egregious howlers, once and for all. With that in mind, and given the fact that I've not had the time to post anything more substantial recently, I thought I'd build on Dan's recent passing reference and take the opportunity to properly draw attention to this:


"I might loose my keys!"

Or this:
"I hope City don't loose this weekend."

This really gets me. Absolute garbage. At what point in one's life does one miss the distinction between 'lose' and 'loose'? They look different, they sound different and (brace yourself for this phrasal cliché) they sure as hell mean different things. Whilst I can understand (but not necessarily tolerate) errors involving fairly unassuming pronouns (eg their, they're etc), I do not see how anyone can type or write 'loose' when they mean 'lose'.


I'm no expert on linguistic/grammatical cognition, but surely the brain picks up on these things whilst they're being committed to screen/paper and screams at the culprit, "WRONG, WRONG, WRONG YOU ARE A MORON".


Doesn't it?

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11 Comments:
Blogger Gez said...

It does. What does the opening quote refer to?

8 October 2007 at 23:32  
Blogger Dan said...

I do wish ITV's hideous day-time show 'Loose Women' was called 'Lose Women', and it consisted of a lorry driving around and depositing panellists in difficult-to-find locations.

That would be good.

9 October 2007 at 10:52  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I guess this is the thought process: it's pronounced like "loo", so it gets a double-o. Otherwise it would be pronounced like "lows", right?

Oh god, I now feel like the chap in Manhunter: all dirty with the enemy's thinking.

10 October 2007 at 12:41  
Blogger Gez said...

A brilliant analogy, Andrew. It's best for your sanity if you don't get into their heads. Just retire to a beach somewhere, build boats and construct grammatically correct prose. The FBI will understand, you've already given enough.

10 October 2007 at 12:46  
Blogger Tom said...

Don't start sporting a curly '80s hairdo and beard combo though.

11 October 2007 at 08:01  
Anonymous Chris Hester said...

This was my No.1 source of annoyance on the internet, but now I have given up due to its unfortunate prevalence. Or to put it another way, it appears to be embedded in the language as a permanent change. I have even seen it in magazines. All hope is lost.

I do see it a lot in forum posts from non-native English users, which leads me to suspect there is a bad translation program out there responsible for this situation.

22 October 2007 at 16:45  
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