Ok, that’s it. It’s “lose”. Not “loose”.

Every. Single. Day. This. Happens.

I read a *LOT* of online technical documentation. Come to think of it, I read a *LOT* of documentation offline as well. I also occasionally read things like blogs and comments and stuff. In all of my reading, I have found that the most prevalent mistake made by the writer in terms of grammar and spelling is using the word “loose” in place of “lose”. So here’s the rule:

“Lose” is a verb, as in “I will lose my job if I do that”, or “Please lose my number”. Other forms include “losing” as in “I’m losing my mind”, and the ever-popular “loser”, as in “That Anonymous Coward is such a loser”.

On the other hand, the word “loose” is an adjective, as in “he’s got a few screws loose” or “that development team has somewhat loose morals – I’ve seen them at conferences”, or “loosely coupled”.

How about this: if you want to describe loss, lose the extra “o” — copyright me, today. 😀

  • jlc

    Loose is also sometimes a verb. Just sayin’!

  • http://protocolostomy.com m0j0

    Ok, but still…

  • http://www.pirnat.com/ Mike Pirnat

    This is one of my pet peeves… It’s enough to make me loose my mind. 😉

  • Chris

    Loose the hounds on the losers!

  • Robin

    English should get itself a better spelling system, so this confusion (and many others) would automatically go away ;). If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try to read this aloud:


    Yes, ay rili miin it.

  • http://www.bigfatgeek.net jj

    Here Here! I get mad at that to! There grammar sucks and their is no excuse.

  • http://regebro.wordpress.com Lennart Regebro


    Lose the extra o. There is an extra o loose.

    Works for me. 🙂

  • Van

    jlc – Sorry but no, it’s Loosen.

  • Losing It

    “Loose” can indeed be used as a verb, but it’s still pronounced “loose,” not “lose”. It’s somewhat old-fashioned, and means “let loose”: loose the hounds, loose the prisoners.

    Anyway, the loose/lose spelling thing is aggravating!

  • To “loose!?!”

    “Loose” may be a verb in descriptive dictionaries (all online ones as far as I know), which include most colloquialisms. In prescriptive dictionaries, the type of dictionary you use for writing a report like a copy of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language from 1973, “loose” can only be a verb with -en, -ened, or -ening.

  • HSH

    ‘their is no excuse’

    nice one.