Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How to Remember Commonly Misspelled Words #2: Lose

The English language can be hard sometimes. It's a mishmash of a bunch of other languages with seemingly random grammar and spelling rules. Sometimes remembering the correct spelling of a word comes down to rote memorization. Lose and loose are two words that I see misspelled a lot. Here are some memory aids I sometimes use to remember the correct spelling.

Lose vs. Loose

Lose is a very lonely word to begin with.

To lose someone is to become more alone. To lose something is to be stripped of it, to be less without it. Lose is a word that stands all by itself, that echoes loneliness.

So when you're spelling lose, remember to never give it another O. Loose is a word that has a companion. Loose has two O's, has a friend in the middle. But lose is a word that has lost something. It's lesser without that second O. It's alone. To lose is to be alone.

Loose, on the other hand, is like a pocketful of loose change. The two round O's in the middle are two pennies, rattling around and banging into each other. Loose is a word that's relaxed and easy-going; where lose has that intense "z" sound, loose slides off the tongue with the "s" sound. Loose. Two pennies in a pocketful of change.

So remember this:
He knew that if he were to ever lose her, he would be lonely, the loneliest man in creation. Even the loose change in his pocket had friends, had other pennies and dimes it would meet and collide with. But if he lost her, he would be truly alone.
English is a pretty cool language.

If these word-pictures help you, that's great, but not all memory aids work for all people. Do you have a certain association in your mind that helps you remember certain spellings? What are some other commonly misspelled words that you'd like me to feature?


  1. Fun way to remember! I'll be sharing this with my class come the new school year.

  2. Can you do "your, you're" etc?

  3. Oh! I like how you remember those two! (I misspell them as well, using one instead of the other.) But this will help!



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