Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lose vs. Loose or "Don't be a loser: Know the difference between lose and loose."

I never intended this blog to so frequently harp on grammar/correct word usage, but the rampant abuse of vocabulary just pisses me off so much, I can't sit idly by. Plus I think I'm developing a twitch from resisting the urge to smack people when they misuse words. It's normal to react violently to people using words incorrectly, right?

You cannot be an adult and not know this one. People are going to look at you when you use one word when you clearly mean the other, and they are going to judge you. Harshly.

Lose: As in to fail, as in to not win, as in to misplace or go missing.

Loose: As in to be set free, as in not tight, as in a joke about your mom.

A good way to remember the difference is to consider related words:

Lose: Lost, loser, loses.

Loose: Loosen, looser, loosely.

The best example I can think of to help someone remember is this:

There is no show called "Loost." These people are missing and are therefore LOST.

I can't think of any other way to make this clearer, and really, neither can the internet. There are a bunch of resources on this word mix up, but most of them reiterate pronunciation, which doesn't seem to be helping anyone. Their complicated explanations which utilize z's, u's, and other letters that do not belong, were confusing, even for ME.

So the next time you're confused about lose vs. loose, just remember that Lost is not a show about an island of castaway whores (or your mom.)

You're welcome.


  1. I think that you get this particular peeve from me. Except that sometimes I am wrong. And SO arrogant about it. You are not wrong.

    1. Haha, this error pisses me off almost as much as the 'there/their/they're' mix ups.