I will be the last to say I am a grammar nazi.
I know that I don't always use punctuation correctly; I never did learn many of the rules of writing. My knowledge of writing rules are slow in coming, and I know I make mistakes quite often. I know I'll likely make mistakes in the writing of this post.
Blogs are a personal thing for most of us. I purposely overlook grammar and punctuation when I read them, because they're not intended to be a perfectly polished piece of writing. It would take away the joy if I were constantly analyzing, and I hope that no one would do that to me either.
I have, however, increasingly come across two words that are being shamefully misused. So often, in fact, that I can no longer keep quiet about it. There is no reason for these poor words to be tortured so. Just because you see someone else do it doesn't mean it's ok. I'm not kidding, the misuse of these words causes me physical reactions, from ranting and raving to having the urge to toss the computer across the room. I'm not normally a violent person.
I don't think anyone who has a blog I regularly read misuses these words, and if you have, you're forgiven. I still love you. Just please, please, for the love of all that is good and decent in this world learn from this post.
The first one, my number one all time pet peeve, is the incorrect usage of the word 'lose'. Use it, people. This word is going to expire from our language if it's not used correctly soon. As in "I'm going to lose my mind if you don't stop this insanity." It is NOT 'loose'.
One of the main definitions of the word 'lose' is, according to Webster: "To miss from one's possession or from a customary or supposed place."
The definition of the word 'loose', also from Webster:" Not rigidly fastened or securely attached." and "Free from a state of confinement, restraint, or obligation."
So if you say that you always "loose your shoes" you mean that you barely put them on your feet, or set them free to find their own way in the world. If you mean that you always misplace them then you always "lose your shoes".
Repeat after me:
My shoelaces are loose. I need to tie them.
The chain on the bicycle is getting loose.
My grip on this language is getting loose. I should tighten it.
Now, let's try this with 'lose':
I hate to lose.
I lose my mind often.
Lose the attitude.
Both these words start looking funny the more I type them. Where was I? Oh yes. Here are your last sentences, combining the two words properly. Study them as long as you wish.
I want to lose weight so my pants will be more loose.
My dog's collar is loose. I should make it fit more snugly, or he'll lose it.
See? It's not hard.
The other word is definitely. Not defiantly. If you are "defiantly going to the store", you're doing it in spite of whatever obstacle is trying to impede you. Most people mean that they're "definitely going to the store", as in they're absolutely going.
The fastest way to get this one right is to read it out loud as you type. The misuse of 'definitely' tends to crack me up. I don't get as upset as I do with lose/loose, because the mental picture it provides is, in some cases, awesome.
"I'm defiantly loving the way the dress looks on you." I see that person twisting your arm.
"You're defiantly a special person." Uh, thanks.
"One scoop of ice cream is defiantly enough." You tell 'em!
"We defiantly had a great time." I'm so glad you had fun in the face of such opposition!
I do feel a little bad being so sarcastic. Just a little.
Will you stand with me in reclaiming the proper use of these words? Please?
If not, I will definitely lose my mind at the defiant looseness of it all.