Nitpick: “To loose,” Lautrec, also has a transitive meaning, something like "to release from confinement or restraint: “Cry havoc, and loose the dogs of war!” Colloquial English usually uses “to let loose” instead.
Other than that, excellent rant on a minor but annoying quasi-homonym error.
My favourite is ‘there’. ‘their’ and ‘they’re’. The last job I worked at, every message I ever got for 2 years from co-workers, supervisors,managers, the only spelling I saw was ‘there’.
It was like they had all decided that there is no other spelling. I got messages like “I went there to see Bob and Jane and there playing with there son there.”
It is a lost battle.
I don’t know. I LIKE the fact that certain people identify their lack of brain-capacity, work-ethic, perfectionism, attention to detail (or whatever the underlying cause of poor spelling turns out to be) and put that lack on display for God and everyone to view and to judge.
When I’m hiring English professors, for example (something I do with increasing frequency), it’s so helpful of candidates to weed themselves out for me on their cover letter. Misspelling a single word on a cover letter speaks as eloquently as signing and notorizing a statement like “I am a slacker with low standards of perfectionism and I don’t really want this job badly enough to spend a few minutes proofreading this letter. Please do not hire me.”
Of course I’ve let a few typoes slip by me in cover letters from time to time, and I wasn’t hired for those jobs, quite properly. And my typoes on the Straight Dope are too numerous to count. But I’m not looking for your approval here either. Job seekers are, and they don’t get mine.
In a larger sense, of course, this also justifies all sorts of nit-picking grammatical rules that certain people feel they are exempt from following. Fine, whatever, just not on my watch, and thank you for self-identifying as someone who will never get to take part of my watch.
No need to loose your mind over such a minor thing.
I blame the English language moreso than the writers/speakers. Too many words sound too much alike. I hate words that are spelled differently and are pronouced differently, but are still easy to mix up (and make people laugh at you when you say them “wrong”, making you blush with embarrassment), like “pen” and “pin”, “will” and “wheel”, and “bury” and “berry”. Equally detestable are those words that you confuse only when you write them, even though their spellings are vastly different, like “they’re” and “their”, “our” and “are”, “wear” and “where”, and “die” and “dye”. So please save some of your vitriol for the words themselves.
I guess I’m not bothered when people write “loose” when they mean “lose” because I myself have made had similar blunders. Funny, you never find math- lovers pitting people for their lazy mistakes, yet I’m sure most of us would do quite poorly on a basic arithmetic test. I suppose having a weakness in mathematics is more acceptable than a weakness in language…perhaps the educated elite is a bit biased against more right-brained folks. I dunno. I consider myself a champion of verbosity, but I actively dislike grammarians and spelling fiends. They remind me of those kids in school who always get straight As on their exams, but never have good ideas when you’re saddled with them in group projects. Nor do they know how to cut up when the teacher isn’t in the room.
You will always find me posting to threads like this one, because I enjoy being the lone voice who says “Get a life”.
I’m bothered by it, and by Carlyjay’s “breath”/“breathe” thing, among others, because the two words sound different. So when I’m reading something where someone used the wrong word/spelling, I hear that wrong word in my head, and it sounds really jarring, like somebody hitting an obviously wrong note in a song.