Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Lose vs. Loose and other common grammar pitfalls
Well dear readers, I am becoming a bit of a grammar policewoman, but in reading different websites I have come across some common grammar mistakes that just make my blood boil. Whether due to ignorance or laziness on the part of the writer, it is always helpful to proofread your
work, remember, spell check only checks for
misspelled words, not words used incorrectly but spelled correctly. As you can see above, one would "lose" weight, and at right, we have a perfect example of what it means to be "loose." Now in theory, one could loose weight if you were referring to some type of weights attached tightly to your body, as in, to loosen the weighted ties holding you down.
Other words commonly misused are:
it's/its--Please use it's when contracting it is and use its when something is possessive. This also goes with you're/your--The former is a contraction of you are and the latter a possessive.
they're/there/their--Please use they're when contracting they are, there for a place, and their for the possessive.
effect/affect--Please use effect as a noun and affect as a verb. When you affect a situation, you produce an effect.
i.e./e.g./n.b./etc.--i.e. means "that is to say" or "in other words", e.g. means "for example", n.b. (or nota bene) indicates special attention should be paid to something, etc, or etcetera, means "and so forth" or "continuing in the same way." Most often i.e. and e.g. are confused, so please, when stating an example of something remember to use e.g. and not i.e.
And as a final N.B., please, when there is a large amount of something, there is "a lot" of it. "Alot" is not a word in the English language.