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Linguaholic

The correct use of "loose" and "lose"


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I noticed that a lot of people use "loose" instead of "lose" when they want to get rid of something or when they lost something, like "I want to loose weight" or "I'm loosing so much money already", and I'm like, "What the heck is wrong with you people? Don't you know that "loose" means not tight? The correct word would be "lose"! LOL. But I don't personally know anyone who makes this mistake, since I only see those kinds of erroneous sentences when I browse websites and forums.

So what is your 2 cents with this whole spelling blunder? Are you at one point, guilty of making the same mistake, (don't be shy to admit, we won't judge you) or you have always been aware of the correct usage of the words "loose" and "lose"?

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I always think about it when I write. It's one of the things about English I learned on the web. I pay attention to the word and usually when re-reading the sentence I manage to find the mistake and correct it properly. It's tricky indeed.

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Yeah I guess, especially if English isn't your native language. But then again years ago like around 2008 I don't see that certain mistake, but recently it seems like with the increasing number of people thinking that what they type is right, the number of people using "loose" instead of "lose" is increasing. They probably think that their sentence construction is right because lots of people type the same thing.

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I'll admit that I used to get confused between the two until I just went online and confirmed things once and for all. Really, if you are confused between the usage just go and confirm the correct usage. Sadly, a lot of people don't do that thus the prevalence of incorrect usage of lose and loose.

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It's pretty much the same as Then and Than, or Your and You're, I think. These are some of my pet peeves, and sometimes even native users misuse them. Maybe because it's their native tongue and they speak it all the time that it doesn't matter to them how it looks on paper.

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I don't think I have seen this error before. At least not often enough that I have noticed a problem. I can see how an English learner could mess it up. If native speakers are making this mistake, however, that is pretty embarrassing.

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Yeah I guess, especially if English isn't your native language. But then again years ago like around 2008 I don't see that certain mistake, but recently it seems like with the increasing number of people thinking that what they type is right, the number of people using "loose" instead of "lose" is increasing. They probably think that their sentence construction is right because lots of people type the same thing.

I have observed the same phenomena. I do think it has to do with seeing the incorrect usage online.  I think people see the incorrect word usage and start to use it and do so without reasoning it out.  As as with viral videos and Internet memes I believe the incorrect usage of words spreads rapidly. 

After all, it's clear that these are two different words with different meanings.  It's hard to confuse lose as in "lost"  with loose as in "not tight."   

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I understand this misconception as well, because I sometimes do this as well. There are times when I mix up loose and lose, because I am not thinking straight. I have to immediately catch myself, and think about exactly what I am doing.

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I've always been mindful of usage, so I probably rarely make this mistake, if at all. I don't mind it when I see other people make this mistake, though, since I fully accept that not everyone had as much education of English as I have. Most of the time, when I see this mistake being made online, I just assume that the person speaking is from a non-English speaking country and I just leave it at that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think I have seen this error before. At least not often enough that I have noticed a problem. I can see how an English learner could mess it up. If native speakers are making this mistake, however, that is pretty embarrassing.

Well I see it mostly on Facebook comments and on various forums, so you might want to check out your Facebook wall.  :grin:

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I have seen an increasing use of Google as an "authoritative source"

So when someone is in doubt about using loose or lose, they type the phrase where one of these is included and rule their criteria based on the results they obtain.

While doing this is sometime useful, not necessarily bring the correct way because many people might be replicating the error until gaining some weight in the bulk results.

Ultimately, when using Google to find out if loose or lose is right, it's necessary pay attention to the number of occurrences found on the web.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm guilty of doing this every once in a while myself. If I'm perfectly honest, it's one of those words that should just be the same form since the pronunciation is identical. Unlike "read", being pronounced as "red" in the past tense. Some standards are just plain confusing.

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I'm guilty of doing this every once in a while myself. If I'm perfectly honest, it's one of those words that should just be the same form since the pronunciation is identical. Unlike "read", being pronounced as "red" in the past tense. Some standards are just plain confusing.

But the word "read" means the same thing, the only alteration is that the past tense is pronounced differently. While the words "lose" and "loose" are 2 totally different words with equally different meanings.

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  • 1 month later...

I've never gotten these two words mixed up because they aren't even pronounced the same. Loose should be used when referring to like your shoe tie being "loose". Lose should refer to like you're losing a game. Similar pronunciation, but it's not.

I see, so I think you made a typo when you said that, "because they aren't even pronounced the same" when you really meant was they don't MEAN the same, right?

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Such errors are bound to happen on the web because people communicate with speed and don't stop to review.Anyway, if you know your gramma, I don't see how a mistake could be made with these two words  that have entirely different meanings :confused:. Guess I'd have to say those that do, don't know any better  :sad:.

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It is as if you knew what I was going through my mind! Well, asking about the correct use of 'Loose' and 'Lose' was going to be my first question on this forum shouldn't have captured it. I've had my articles rejected oftenly because of 'silly mistakes' only to find that I used 'loose' instead of loss.

I think that after reading most of the responses, I'll never make this mistake again.

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I noticed that a lot of people use "loose" instead of "lose" when they want to get rid of something or when they lost something, like "I want to loose weight" or "I'm loosing so much money already", and I'm like, "What the heck is wrong with you people? Don't you know that "loose" means not tight? The correct word would be "lose"! LOL. But I don't personally know anyone who makes this mistake, since I only see those kinds of erroneous sentences when I browse websites and forums.

So what is your 2 cents with this whole spelling blunder? Are you at one point, guilty of making the same mistake, (don't be shy to admit, we won't judge you) or you have always been aware of the correct usage of the words "loose" and "lose"?

No i don't as I try to pronounce my words correctly. I know that "loose" means, not tight, and "lose" means, be without something that you had once. Sometimes when you don't pronounce your words correctly it causes a problem when you spell.

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