Is ‘lose’ the most misspelt word in English?

On this blog I have seen many authors in their posts and readers in the comments section spell lose as loose. When I visit other blogs I notice the same thing. Even people who write in near perfect English spell lose as loose. The only time when loose is used is while referring to the opposite of tight. Otherwise, it’s always lose. Lose your keys, lose a game, lose wealth, lose time, lose business etc. The past tense is lost. No one says loost while referring to the past so why say loose while referring to the present.

Now, don’t lose your head while reading this. Just spell it as lose.

17 thoughts on “Is ‘lose’ the most misspelt word in English?”

  1. Hi, Shakir: You’re welcome; your fluidity in English shows. (I also find that I agree with you on most other matters, probably because we are about the same age, have had time to put matters in perspective, and have arrived independently at similar conclusions.) There is something to be said for a little sloppiness in language usage, if it gets the idea across quickly and is mutually understood, like texting language, but in some circumstances it is important to be exact. Circumstances will dictate.

    Hina, Momina: In most of your articles your English, too, is very good and perfectly comprehensible. I notice that sometimes you both sometimes use metaphorical phrases in lieu of the most accurate terms, but with a moment’s thought it is easy enough to grasp what you mean. It is known that men and women use language differently, even within the same language. Women (everywhere) seem to be more creative at times. 🙂

    My American grandfather, when I was a small boy, used to assign me ten new (big) words per week to memorize and use in a sentence for the next week. (“Sodium acetyl salicylate,” “philological peccadillo,” “syntactical redundancy,” etc.) I know it helped me.

    Ri-i-ight; none of us is perfect. We do not know how much we do not know, but I think we all deserve a pat on the back for trying.

  2. @ James, thanks for the compliment. I was lucky to be educated by Catholic priests in a missionary school. I was also lucky that my father was a lawyer and our house was full of books, newspapers and magazines all the time. Nowadays, people think if they can make themselves understood, it doesn’t matter whether they write “loose” instead of “lose”, or “her” instead of “his” (as in “her” wife, an expression which is commonly used by reporters in our English dailies).

  3. Hello, Mr. Yusha! Hi, guys and gals. (Ha! Thought you’d got rid of me, heh? Frankly, I, uh, k-kinda, um, MISSED you guys. Ahem. Cough. Toe-in-a-circle. Smilie.)

    The misuse of “lose” and “loose” bothers me, too, and I admire your precision. You have a right to be proud of your English, too, which in my opinion is nearly perfect, second possibly by a very small margin to Mr. Lakhani’s, which seems almost native, especially since it is not your native language.

    English can indeed be quite difficult; it is not very straightforward. I have spoken it since I was a small child. I once had to take thirty days military leave in a foreign country; I lived on the economy and spoke only the local language for the whole month. When I came back to work and began hearing English again, it took me a whole day to get over the strangeness of it. It was one of the oddest experiences I’ve ever had.

    @All: My hat is off to all of you for exerting yourselves at English in any degree, regardless of the content of your comments.

  4. @ Khurram and Hina: Neither one of you read my previous comment. Please read the last sentence of my previous comment.

    Hina, as far as me mentioning the time is concerned, again, you did not read my previous comment.

    The only way to improve one’s English is to work hard at it. Simply stating that it is complicated (which it isn’t) is not going to make you better, Hina. I can understand Khurram stating that it is complicated but someone who blogs on the best multi-authored website in Pakistan agreeing blindly does not look good.

    Talking or writing in good English obviously does not make anyone better. No one is basing the criteria of superiority or inferiority on the basis of good or bad English. It is about being better than what a person was before. Everyone’s competition should be with himself/herself. To become better than what he/she was before.

    Lastly, no one is perfect.

  5. @ ALL

    First of all I know that US and UK English is different but I pointed out COLOUR and COLOR to let u all know that English itself is confusing. If we are being taught COLOUR and in other part of the world it is COLOR what a Language? Urdu is far better which is sadly ignored by many. My uncle used to say that in Urdu u can call ur elders AAP but u cant translate it in English as it has only a word YOU for it which is being translated as TUM.


    If you can write a post or comment in 5 minutes or so who cares? The difference between LOSE and LOOSING is a common sense as u said which u think only u have? It is interesting that my single comment made you reply twice.

    You wrote“On this blog I have seen many authors in their posts and readers in the comments” that’s why I commented that it could be better if u provide link to those posts on this blog So that WE can improve our English and could be a better writer.
    Don’t agree with a pathetic statement just because you enjoy criticising me. (American: criticizing) Work on your grammer and spellings instead of blaming the language or finding excuses because American and British spellings happen to be different.
    Review the spelling of grammer please as I use to spell it grammar.
    @Shakir Sir

    “The way a person writes or talks reveal a lot about his/her background” It reveals character, thoughts and personality of a person more than his/her background. Literacy rate and Economic growth in Pakistan is not as sound that every one can even afford to educate their children. If one can write or speak in English doesn’t make him/her superior to other in any way.


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