Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

#AtoZ: L is for Lose and Loose, Loosey-goosey, and LOL

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

Oh Heck! More Writing Quirks.

Writers confuse lose and loose on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites where posting mistakes is common practice. This next heart-broken person on Facebook misspelled lose on purpose, or at least I hope he or she did.

I hurt u bcoz i dnt wanna loose u (Facebook Page)

1. Lose is a verb and only a verb. It has one o.

Meaning: To experience a loss of something either by accident, inattention, or negligence.

You lose things…

**  your money
**  your purse
**  your cat or dog
**  your zebra
**  some weight
**  your temper
**  your patience
**  your way
**  your head

If you lose your dog, put an ad in the paper.
If you lose your wallet, report it to the police.
If you lose your zebra, call the local zoo.
If you lose weight, buy new clothes.
If you lose your dog, put an ad in the paper.

LIsa doesn't want to lose her teacup Yorkie so she always uses a leash when she walks her.

Lisa doesn’t want to lose her Teacup Yorkie so she uses a leash when they go for a walk.

Ways to remember spelling of lose.

Make up sentences with words that have similar spelling.

**  You snooze, you lose, but lose the extra o.
** “Loose laces lose races.”  (Edgar H. Schuster, Breaking the Rules: Liberating Writers Through Innovative Grammar Instruction, Heinemann, 2003)
**  Lose is like nose, rose, hose, and pose. These words don’t rhyme with lose, but they all have one o.

2. Loose is most frequently used as an adjective, but it can also be a verb, an adverb, and even part of a noun.

Loose as an adjective

 Meaning: free from restraint, not firmly fastened, not tight or compact.

Clothing can be loose when you lose weight:
**  Loose dress
**  Loose pants
**  Loose shoes
**  Loose belt
**  Loose hat
**  Loose shirt
**  Loose skirt
**  Loose blouse

Loose dogs prowl the neighborhood.
The shingles on the roof are loose.
A loose curtain rod might fall.

Compound words with loose    

**  loose-leaf notebook
**  loose-limbed
**  loose-tongued…talking too much
**  loose-jointed

Isabelle, my granddaughter, is loose-jointed and can perform amazing feats.

Isabelle, my loose-jointed and loose-limbed granddaughter, can perform amazing feats in gymnastics competitions.

Granddaughter Madelynn is equally loose-limbed, loose-jointed, and talented. Amazing granddaughters!

Granddaughter Madelynn is equally loose-limbed, loose-jointed, and talented. Amazing granddaughters!

Loose can be a verb. to unfasten, untie.  loose, loosen,

**  break loose
**  get loose
**  let loose
**  set loose

Your Dalmatian will get loose if you do not tie him up tightly.
Loosen the ties on your shoes when your feet hurt.

Loose can become an adverb: loosely

**     Loosely pack the strawberries in boxes so they won’t get crushed.

Loose can be part of a noun or noun phrase

**  loose-strife or loose strife…purple flowers
**  loose smut…diseases of cereal grasses
**  loose ends…unfinished details on a job or project
**  loose lips  “loose lips sink ships”
**  loose cannon…someone whose words or actions can be dangerous to others. Someone with unpredictable behavior.

The manager of the project was fired because he did not finish up the loose ends.

Ways to remember the spelling of loose:

Make lists of rhyming words. Make silly sentences and notice the unique features of the words in the sentences.

**      loose, goose, moose, noose,  papoose, caboose

A goose, a moose, and a papoose all have two eyes and two o’s.
The loose goose, the loose moose, and the papoose all jumped on the caboose.
Look! Two o’s in loose, goose, moose, noose, papoose, and caboose.

3. Loosey-goosey

You won’t find loosey-goosey as a word in Garner’s Modern American Usage, The American Heritage Dictionary, or Webster’s New World Dicionary. You can find loosey-goosey on the Internet at Wiktionary.org    

Loosey-goosey means visibly relaxed, not tense. Laid-back. Casual attitude (sometimes too casual).  “Loose as a goose.”

Loosey-goosey chased the moosey-moosey.

 4. LOL. Acronym for Laugh Out Loud. You won’t find LOL in Webster’s New World Dictionary, GarnerModern American Usage, or the American Heritage Dictionary, but you will find it here on WIKIPEDIA online.

WIKIPEDIA says that LOL is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. By the way, if you don’t LOL, you can always lol, which is more like a soft laugh. It’s a bit stronger than the smiley emoticon.

The WIKIPEDIA article posts the standard warning to students that using Internet slang,  silly acronyms, emoticons in written assignments will not excite teachers or future bosses.

But now, you can LOL when you view this video of a dog who loses his head when he is let loose in a heap of leaves. Don’t miss this.

See the hilarious video here: LOL.

Here’s another take on lose/loose and nine other words that need attention: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling


Your turn: What quirky errors or interesting words do you find in writing?

Janice Hall Heck, retired educator and now nitpicky editor of On the Horizon, a bi-monthly community newsletter for Horizons at Woods Landing, Mays Landing, NJ, is quite possibly a grammar geek.

Oh Heck! Another Quirky Writing Error, theme for the 2014 A to Z Challenge, suggests ways to improve our writing by avoiding and/or eliminating troublesome bug-a-boos that cramp our writing style.





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10 thoughts on “#AtoZ: L is for Lose and Loose, Loosey-goosey, and LOL

  1. This is one of my pet hates too. I don’t know why it’s so difficult!

  2. Love the pic of your granddaughter, she is amazing!
    I remember when my sister first came in line and she thought LOL meant lots of love. Imagine how heartbroken she was when she found out people were laughing at her instead of sending her messages of love. lol 😉

    • Hi Dawn. Isabelle is amazing! Her younger sister, Madelynn, is also loose-limbed and loose-jointed. I will snag a picture of her and post it. I like LOL as “lots of love,” but I don’t mind “laugh out loud.” I have learned a few other Internet acronyms, but I don’t use them myself. Nice to hear from you again on the blogline.

  3. Hi Janice! I work in social media…you can only imagine the horrible grammar crimes I see on a daily basis!

    I had a husky and currently have a terrier, so I loved the picture and video, too.

    Michelle @ In Media Res

    • Hi Michelle, I am hoping to eradicate at least a few grammar crimes! Probably the ones who need to read this blog won’t read it. Oh well, I enjoy writing, so I’ll keep on with it. Nice to meet you in the blogosphere.

  4. Thanks for making her famous! Now I know why I wouldn’t want to lose her when she wears a loose fitting leash!

  5. Miss Alister on said:

    Hi Janice, just cruising through to see some of what I missed and this video caught my eye (scrolling from bottom to top on my way to V, you see) and this husky grabbed me: what a riot, wore me out just watching! And then I saw your granddaughter…whoaaaa! way cool!
    So, on my way, then…

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