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Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter

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Vocab screw-up that's been bugging the hell out of me

For some reason, I keep seeing this time and time again:

Loose (i.e. not tight)

used instead of

Lose (i.e. not win)

Why has it suddenly become so prevalent?

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It has been a curse upon the internet for as long as I've been surfing the internet. And that's only the last five or six years.

It may just be one of those statistical things, like a cluster. I'm see it more and more now, almost as if it's common usage.

Cuz people are eejits?

I'll swap you. Loose/lose pisses me off, yeah, but honed/homed irritates me a hundred times more.

To hone: to whet, or sharpen, to make or improve a cutting edge.

To home (verb): to seek out a designated 'home', or target, as of a 'homing pigeon'.

To 'home in': to close in on a chosen target.

To 'hone in': complete fucking bullshit that has no meaning whatsoever.

Tragically, that last construction is used all to often by people who are otherwise literate... which is why it annoys me. Loose/lose is for random imbeciles. Hone/home is screwed up so often it's practically idiom by now.

I don't think I've ever seen a "home"/"hone" error, but I see "loose"/"lose" regularly. And it seems to be much more common now than, say, a few years ago.

Those bug me too. Along with other classic malapropisms such as 'formally' used instead of 'formerly', 'in one foul swoop' and 'for all intensive purposes'.

I suspect these are the result of limited reading; they are typically mistakes made by people who hear words far more often than read them, and who when they do read, read with poor comprehension.

Edited at 2011-12-23 03:16 am (UTC)

Ooooh, yes. The "foul swoop" makes me think of farting in a hang glider.

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