Word Usage: Lose vs. Loose

In today’s word usage tip, I want to strike a blow at the heart of one of my biggest semantic pet peeves: lose vs. loose. I see this pair confused probably more than any other combination in the English language. For those of you who can’t keep it straight, here is the dope: The word loose rhymes with noose, and refers to something that is not tight or well controlled. It might help you to remember those two words together: If I were in a noose, I’d prefer it to be loose. The word lose, on the other hand, rhymes with booze, and refers to not knowing where something is, or to no longer having possession of it: If you drink too much booze, your license you may lose. Okay, poetry may not be my forte, but word usage is. Here are a few more examples:
She went on a diet in order to lose some weight.Afterwards, all her clothes were too loose.
Somehow, he managed to lose the incriminating evidence.He was no role model to follow; his ethics were rather loose.
He was afraid to lose their confidence.There was no way to loosen his grip on the committee.
She did not want to lose the election.Her compensation was only loosely tied to her performance.
He may have won the battle, but he would surely lose the war.He really cut loose at the victory celebration.
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