The post below was originally published in 2006 during a weekly series I wrote about common spelling errors. I think my sentiments of the article remain the same and it’s worth sharing again.

When I first learned how to spell the word “lose”, I’m certain it only had one “o” in it. I don’t know what grade it was, but I’m sure it was easy.

Throughout my school years, “lose” continued to only have one “o” in it. It’s a very common word, I probably saw it at least once a day. Then, somewhere in the 21st century, I started noticing a strange trend. Two o’s!

Wha-wha-whaaaat? Did I miss something? Did Webster change their dictionary? When did the the word “lose” become “loose”?

I see it almost daily, on blogs written by grown adults. I know that it’s wrong, and my mind goes off track when I see it. Think of a needle being knocked off a record. You know that scratching sound? Yep, that’s what I hear in my head.

The worst example is when someone is called a “looser”. Don’t even get my started with that one.

So remember, dear bloggers, whenever you are in doubt, just remember this easy phrase:

A loose butthole will make guys lose interest in you.

F-I-N-A-L-L-Y

May 8, 2008 / Filed in Wednesday Words / 4 Comments

A site has been launched called “d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y.com” in an effort to educate the world that there is no “a” in definitely.

THANK YOU, dear site owner. I’ve been trying to tell people this for years. (See my original post about it from 2006.)

Now if we can all just learn the difference between “lose” and “loose“, as well as proper usage of “your” and “you’re“, I think we might just be able to save civilization. 🙂

(Thanks Joe.My.God.)

Please, somebody tell me… am I completely wrong about this? If I’m wrong, I want to know.

When you haggle over something, doesn’t that mean you bargain with the seller in order to receive a lower price? I’ve checked several online sources, and that seems to be the definition.

So please explain to me this new trend of car dealerships and their commercials. They now offer a brand new feature, called a No Haggling Guarantee. And they emphasize it with such passion, as if the consumer is really getting a great deal.

What??? But if a car dealership offers a No Haggle Guarantee, doesn’t that mean they refuse to negotiate the price with me? If I can’t haggle them, that means they have a strict policy of enforcing the sticker price, and they aren’t going to let me buy the car for any less.

But wait… I want to haggle. How is this a good thing? You are taking away my right to negotiate on a large purchase.

Is the automotive industry playing a gigantic joke on the entire consumer population? Like I said, if I’m wrong, please correct me. It just seems to me that this is yet another way consumers are getting screwed.

Your thoughts?

Okay, I confess! I have a very difficult time remembering how to spell the word “embarrass”. I always leave out an “r” from it. Writing this post will surely help me remember.

To me, it’s extremely embarrassing to type the word incorrectly. I did it recently in an e-mail to a friend, and he was kind enough to not mention it. But I knew it was wrong, and now I cry myself to sleep at night because I’m so ashamed. Kidding.

So remember to double the “r” and double the “s”, and then you will never have to be embarrassed about it. 🙂

Sidenote: Friends don’t let friends use an “a” in the world “definitely”.

On July 19, 2006, I published a historic post.

It was simply titled: There is definitely no “a”.

I thought this post would go down in history. I thought it would be featured on hundreds of news channels across the globe. I thought reporters would be pounding on my door to get the scoop on this hot news story.

Sadly, no one came. And only a small group of people actually took notice. Yes, my darlings, I am sad to report that thousands of people in the world have still not heard the good news. They still believe there is such a thing as the word DEFINATELY.

And they use it with such passion. I see it on blogs and forums across the land.

“Will you be coming over on Saturday night?”

“Oh yeah, DEFINITATELY!”

They type it with such joy and pride, and they often use ALL CAPS. They are so certain that there is such a thing. Yes, as sad as it sounds, they do believe there is a letter “a” in the word “definitely.”

So please… for the greater good of this nation… tell everyone you know. Don’t be shy, dear readers. Tell your family, your friends, your co-workers. Tell everyone you know.

There is no “a” in “definitely”.

Together, we can make the world a better smarter place.

This week’s feature is a threesome! Talk about filthy…

Mis typed:

The first comes from Cory. Last week, he was annoyed by a woman who wrote “mis typed” in an e-mail. It contradicts what she said about mistyping. It’s about as bad as people who say they mispelled something, when they actually misspelled something.

“Mis” is used to explain an error. If you misunderstand, it means you failed to understand. But “mis” is not a separate word. It goes along with whatever word comes after it. What about using a dash? That’s something I can’t seem to find a straight answer on. I’ve checked several online sources, and there doesn’t seem to be a solid rule. Maybe someone else can chime in on that.

Went missing:

The next item comes from Mikell. He pointed out the way news media uses the term about people who “went missing”. I’m glad he brought that up because the use of “went” is actually a weak point for me too. I use it incorrectly myself, and it seems to be accepted in the English language, but it’s wrong.

I hope I’m explaining this in the way Mikell intended. If someone “went missing”, isn’t that past tense? After all, the person is still missing. Instead, wouldn’t you say “This person has been missing since last week”?

After all:

Finally, the third word is something I just caught myself – the word “afterall”. I use it all the time – it’s part of my vocabulary. While doing a spell check on this post, I realized that “afterall” is not accepted as a real word in any online dictionary. It’s supposed to be “after all”. Rats! I don’t think anyone has ever caught that either. Well, I will work on it in the future. I guess it’s still better than people who use the word “definately”! Argh!

Today’s feature comes from a recommendation by Thom. Sometimes two similar versions of a word can have very different meanings. Disinterested and uninterested are the examples.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like it would matter which you used. Let’s say you were talking about a political candidate. You might say you were “disinterested” or “uninterested” in who wins. In theory, you’re just saying you don’t really care. I think that’s the way people would perceive it.

Actually, however, it matters quite a bit. If you are “disinterested”, then you are neutral and unbiased. You feel equally about each candidate, you do not like or dislike either person more, and you would be satisfied with either winner. If you are “uninterested”, then you do not care at all. As far as you’re concerned, the election does not exist, you don’t want to know anything.

To give another example, let’s say a candidate had an opinion about gay marriage. If he were disinterested, he might grant equal rights because he is completely unbiased. However, if he were uninterested, it would mean he doesn’t care about the issue and probably won’t do anything about it. In that case, it would be better to have someone who is disinterested rather than uninterested.

Good morning class!

Today’s topic is the misuse of “me” and “I”. Sometimes even the smartest English majors make the mistake, and it’s easy to do. I have trouble with it myself.

One trick I learned was removing part of the sentence. Let’s say we’re going to a movie.

Do I say “You and me should go to a movie” or “You and I should go to a movie”?

Remove the “You and”… now the choices are “Me should go to a movie” or “I should go to a movie”. Obviously only one of those makes sense, so the correct answer is “I”. Anytime a sentence involves two people, make it involve only you and you should get the answer.

What about “This is the story of you and I” or “This is the story of you and me”? Which is correct?

Change the sentence to “This is the story of I” or “This is the story of me”. The answer is easier to pinpoint. It should be “This is the story of you and me”.

Keep this trick in mind and using “me” or “I” becomes much more simple! That’s this week’s edition. 😀

My friend Pete Parker suggested that I discuss the use (or mis-use) of the word “ironic”. It has been a mis-used word for decades actually, but Alanis Morissette’s hit song from 1996 gave the controversy new life. In the song, she sings examples of situations which actually aren’t ironic at all. They are “incongruous”, which means “lacking in harmony”, “inconsistent”, or “not in agreement”.

But irony is actually meant to describe sarcasm, or something that is the opposite of what is true. For example, it’s a rainy day, and you say “What a beautiful day!”

There are many types of irony – verbal, social, tragic, comic… The word is actually very complex, and very misunderstood. But one thing is certain – most people use it in situations which aren’t ironic at all.

Wikipedia has an excellent, in depth history of the word, as well as information on the controversy of it.

My friend Tom suggested using these 3 words for this week. There, Their, They’re.

Sure, they all pretty much sound the same. But they’re not. Ooh, look, I just used one of them!

There – This is meant for a location or to demonstrate something. For example, “The book is over there” or “There is no ‘a’ in definitely.”

Their – This is only intended to be used to describe something of ownership by two or more people. For example, “Their house might look better than ours this year, but just wait until next Spring.”

They’re – This is a combination of the words “they” and “are”. If you’re unsure when to use it, just think of the sentence in that way. If it makes sense with “they are”, then you can also use “they’re” to shorten it.

If you have a word or group of words that you’d like to see next week, leave a comment and let me know! I love it that these are interactive.

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I'm a happily married gay man, writing about my life as a new father and sharing our adventures with a side of snark.
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