Lose vs Loose (was Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?)

Subject: Lose vs Loose (was Re: Items in a Series and Comma Use?)
From: John Cook <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 11:55:42 -0600

> So, in order to get on to bigger and better things....I choose not to
> use it unless specified in the style guide for whomever is paying me.
> Go ahead and use it if it makes you happy. I won't loose any sleep over
> it and I don't think that the comma police will loose any sleep either.

I'm a firm believer in the serial comma for reasons already mentioned,
that it removes all possibility for confusion for the end user. I
find it humorous that people claiming journalistic street cred rail
about legacy grammar and punctuation rules and then consistently use
the entirely wrong word as part of their justification, thus damaging
the impression of authority. (And I'm not pointing the finger at this
particular author, by the way, as I've seen it far more often than I
would have thought.)

The "lose" versus "loose" error seems nearly as rampant as "your"
versus "you're", and I think we do our readers a service when we point
it out. I admit that I struggle with the best way to do that without
coming across as a grammar cop.

John Cook
Technical Writer / Help Author
john dot cook at gmail dot com

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