Thursday, 4 August 2011

Y Did I Bover?

Alexis Hunter was the best English teacher any kid could ask for. Woe betide anyone who missed an apostrophe, a hyphen, a comma or failed to capitalise the first word in a sentence.
"Can I start a sentence with 'But or And' Miss Hunter?"
"Yes if your name is George Orwell or George Bernard Shaw or you have written a book of literary merit - but until then, no you won't."

And (I can do it now as I've written a book) I studied my spelling - Oh did I study my spelling.

Today I'm wondering why I bothered? It seems the world is convinced the word 'lose' is spelt 'loose' - everywhere I go on the internet 'loose' pops up instead of lose - am I the only one who feels like sending e-mails to those concerned saying 'Cut it out! I spent ten years in school, two in college, six in university so that I could join a world of literate people'?

I suspect I am.

You see, I wouldn't mind if it were a mindless minority...but misspellings are taking over the world to such an extent that the wrong spelling is viewed as the right spelling and it causes me consternation, I hyperventilate over it. Right now in Brighton someone is reading this thinking "That Rory Grant's a F'n eejit - he spells 'loose' wif just one 'o'"
I base this on evidence provided by the photograph below from Brighton...

Even Cops and Councils have surrendered to the double barrelled roundness of loose...

I can barely look at this next image as it has not one, but two glaring errors (possibly three or four!), this is genuinely heart attack inducing in me...

Even that great storehouse of digital information and applications 'Apple' has loosened its guard sufficiently to lose credibility. Take this application on offer from the istore for example...

I could go on and on but I don't want you to loose interest and I certainly don't want to loose you as readers...I'll stop now.  I fear the war has been loost already.



  1. I agree. One of the things which irritated me living in America was how poor spelling was, even with university educated people. God knows we're not much better here.
    Loose should be reserved for bowels.

  2. Rory, what annoys the bejesus out of me is having to re-learn my English. I spent years in school, taking it up as a second language, only to discover that I was learning the "other" English. So now color has become colour, honor is honour, tire is tyre and the list goes on and on, ad nauseum!

  3. I agree with both of you! When I edited my wife's book I was astonished at how many words in America have a 'z' where we have an 's'. Fortunately however, lose is still lose :)


  4. Rory, this is effin' hilarious (did I spell that right?). Mostly because I used to suffer from the same problem, always getting "lose" and "loose" mixed up. I finally came up with a way to remember.

    "If you lost match point, you've lost the game." (Both words have one "o".)

    "The noose is not loose." Both words have two "O's"

    Maybe that will help some of your more spelling-challenged readers.

    Oh, and, don't mess with Webster, he spells American, not English

  5. Oops, I meant "If you sode maatch point, you've lost the game. (can't type in the dark.)

  6. I did it again. Definitely can't type in the dark. "If you lose match point, you've lost the game." THERE!

  7. It used to drive me out of my pea pickin' mind at work to see college educated people leaving messages on the white board and misusing your for your're and are for our. One of the girls was infamous for saying "them ones" instead of those. I felt like I was on an episode of The Beverley Hillbillies.
    Funny, I had an American correct my spelling the other day. I spell Canadian.

  8. My pet peeves: they're, there, their
    your, you're
    too, to
    know, no
    No one seems to know how to use them correctly.
    I know someone who capitalizes all of her nouns and pronouns, no matter where they land in a sentence. Very distracting.
    My husband and son are highly intelligent, but neither one can spell worth poo. They ask for a correct word spelling when it counts, but sometimes reading a text from my 22-year-old son is an adventure.

  9. We have the same problem in the U.S.

    My "favorite"? "I would of..." Would of? Would OF?! ACK!


    p.s. Sorry about the "Z"s. :-)

  10. Ahhhh there's so many you have brought to my attention that I'm hyperventilating badly here. 'Would of' would be punishable by lethal injection if I had my way - and 'Your' when it should be 'You're' should be written out during a life sentence.

    AND WHO SAID 'FAVORITE'????? LOL - It's favourite to us Brits who stick a 'u' everywhere an 'o' appears. Pearl? :)

    Suzanne I'm concerned for your mental health lol - please put the light on and put my mind at rest :)

    Delores - people really used 'are' for our??? Oh my God, there really is no hope.


  11. OMG Rory, have you ever texted or received a text? There is a whole new abbreviated language out there. No need to use three letters, when one will do. At times I need someone to translate my messages. However I am beginning to get into the lingo as I want to communicate. Spelling may be a thing of the past, brevity is the name of the game.

  12. I have calmed myself with the Fry philosophy that language evolves and there's nothing to be done about it. But my butt still clenches when I see newspaper stories that say "loan gunman" or the now-ubiquitous "should of". And there goes my blood pressure. When did children stop learning spelling and vocabulary?? aaaagh.

  13. Rory I have passed on an award to you.

  14. Another thing that drives me balmy... People who don't know where to place the letter "u" around "g"; it's TONGUE not TOUNGE, and ROGUE, not ROUGE (means red in French!)

  15. I'm Canadian so I ad my "U" in where it counts as well. Honour, favour, colour, etc. Sadly, when writing online, it doesn't pay to play the old way. Americans, though I love them dearly, do tend to correct immediately when said U is dropped.
    I wonder, will we have to adapt to the new lingo, (lol, wtf, roflmao, fml, thx, thxu... ugh...) or will a superhero of spelling arrive to save the day, shunning those who misspell?
    Either way, I expect there are a group of us who will "loose" our minds if things don't shape up soon.

  16. Yes, misspellings drive me crazy. So do blatant grammar errors, especially when they're made by a TEACHER or professional writer.

    There were a couple of fellows here in the States who had such a problem with signs with misspellings on them, they went on a sign-fixing road trip. They actually corrected the signs. As it turned out, their efforts weren't at all appreciated.

  17. I like misspellings, faults in punctuation, etc. etc. There's a cafe in Swaffham in Norfolk near where I live which for years has had a bad attack of the greengrocer's apostrophe. It has a sign outside saying "breakfast's, lunche's, tea's, coffee's". I particularly liked 'lunche's'. Clearly the brain knew that 'lunches' was tricky, but its nerve broke when faced with spelling it without an apostrophe! Over the years we've all been much too polite to draw the proprietress's attention to the glorious uncertainty of her punctuation. It just wouldn't be kind. I daresay it's featured in many a Truss-inspired conversation over the years!

  18. I'm an awesome speller (if I may toot my own horn for a moment). It drives me INSANE when I see 'loose' instead of 'lose', and other easy words obviously misspelled.

    I also am highly amused when someone uses the wrong word in a sentence, and they have no idea that they used the wrong word.

    A group of three Marines walked by Customer Service yesterday, and they were talking about something spectacular that one of them had seen. One of the guys said, "Wow! It would have been awesome to see that! I'll just have to live it bicuriously through you.'

    Now, I know he meant 'vicariously', and I had an intense urge to stop him and tell him that 'bi-curious' means something completely different than 'vicarious'. The two are NOT interchangeable.

    Hilarious. :)

  19. I have the same pet peeves that most others here have, but also one more:
    I've seen THREE signs lately that read, "Please bare with us." Shall we all disrobe?

  20. This is pure Rory Magic. Had me laughing... to the point of snorting.