I'm loosing my mind!

Has anyone else noticed that people are loosing track of how to spell "losing"? I see "loosing" more and more often these days. Yesterday, I discovered it in a novel I'm reading: "He was loosing his integrity."

What happened? There may be some general decline in educational standards, but why is this particular word loosing its correct spelling so fast? And just how would these people spell it if they were, say, "loosing the animals from their cages"?

6 comments:

  1. I always wonder if they mean loosening.

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  2. I make this error a lot. But I usually catch it. I think it is an artifact of typing, because I do not think I would write it out longhand.

    The error that always gets me is using the word 'loan' as a verb. Have people forgotten 'lend' and 'lent'?

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  3. It's because of the interaction of two factors: 1) the pronunciation of "o" in "lose" is irregular: the regular spelling would be "oo"; and 2) the word "loose" does exist, so it doesn't strike the eye as sore-thumb wrong.

    I occasionally get confused by lead/led/read.

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    Replies
    1. To my eye, the double 'o' almost demands an 's' sound after it, not a 'z' sound:

      'Moose': pronounced 'mús'
      'Mose' (if it existed): pronounced 'móz'

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    2. In any case, my big question is 'why now?' I never saw this 30 years ago.

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    3. This reminded me of an excellent English teacher I had 30+ years ago. He used to complain of this very same deterioration. Perhaps there is more ruin in a language that you think !

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