Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Mar 2010 19:05 UTC
Features, Office Since everybody in the technology world is apparently having a vacation, and nobody told me about it, we're kind of low on news. As such, this seems like the perfect opportunity to gripe about something I've always wanted to gripe about: a number of common mistakes in English writing in the comments section. I'll also throw in some tidbits about my native language, Dutch, so you can compare and contrast between the two.
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"Loose" vs. "lose"
by flotsam on Thu 18th Mar 2010 19:41 UTC
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People using "loose" when they mean "lose". On a forum I read, a few days back: "I'm starting to loose my hair". It's only loose? It's not been lost? Then don't worry, just yet.

Using "been" when you mean "being". Are you a human been?

Any misuse of the apostrophe drives me nuts (or should that be "drive's me nut's")? How can one little punctuation mark cause so many people so many problems? Most people seem to think that if it's a plural, it needs an apostrophe. So I see things like "Ferrari's", "CD's", "1980's". Sometimes words that aren't plurals too: "Window's".

Apostrophes are not difficult. Is it a possessive? If so, it needs an apostrophe (exception: "its", as mentioned in the article). Is it a contraction? Yes: it needs an apostrophe (*).

(*) Note that the apostrophe goes where the letters are omitted. So it's "don't", not "do'nt".


(**) Unless you're Dutch and you have a word ending in a long vowel that needs to be a plural (or some such). Thus: "foto's". (shudders)

Let's face it: most native English speakers are hopeless at writing English.

Reply Score: 2

RE: "Loose" vs. "lose"
by Adam S on Thu 18th Mar 2010 20:02 in reply to ""Loose" vs. "lose""
Adam S Member since:


Grammar Girl would tell you that there are plenty of exceptions where a non-possessive apostrophe is appropriate, including "the 80's", "Mind your p's and q's", and when you're buying CD's.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: "Loose" vs. "lose"
by Kroc on Thu 18th Mar 2010 22:39 in reply to "RE: "Loose" vs. "lose""
Kroc Member since:

That should be "The ’80s.", unless you are using possessiveness; That’s the 80’s look". I can’t agree with "CD’s" when not using possessiveness, that’s just odd.

On my site I tend to use “the ’Web.” to respect that ‘web’ is an abbreviation for the “World Wide Web”.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: "Loose" vs. "lose"
by parrotjoe on Thu 18th Mar 2010 23:01 in reply to ""Loose" vs. "lose""
parrotjoe Member since:

Great article Thom and also the spirit of it too. I'm a native English speaker and I know it's a crazy language. I doubt I'd ever be able to learn it if my native language was not English.

I just wanted to reiterate what flotsam said about "lose" vs. "loose". Here on OSNews, I think that is the most common spelling error I see as far as simply an ordinary noun.

The non-native English speaking people here do a great job! I can only imagine the number of "tips" I'd need (infinite!) if I was in this situation.

Reply Parent Score: 1