Sunday, August 14, 2011

Grammar Daze - loose/lose and stared/starred


I decided that I'm going to have Grammar Days Daze (because, really, don't you ever feel dazed when it comes to grammar?) on my blog where I will address grammar or spelling issues that I come across while writing/editing.

Today, I am going to briefly talk about two things that drive me slightly insane when I read them written incorrectly.

stared vs. starred
lose vs. loose

Let's examine these, shall we?

to stare: to look at something very intently
to star: to play the lead role in something 
a star: someone who stars in something; also, a giant ball of gas way out in space

The past tense of to stare is stared.
The past tense of to star is starred.
A star has no past tense, because if a star (person) is past, they've fallen out of stardom, and if a star (giant ball of gas) is past, it's probably gone supernova or something.

Lose means to have lost something.
Loose is the opposite of tight. 
Loose is also to release something, as in: I let my giant saber-tooth giraffe loose downtown and it ate the mayor.

If you misuse loose/lose, your readers might get the wrong idea.

Happy writing!


  1. Lose/loose is an incredibly common mistake. The other one I see a lot of is 'definately' (maybe because of the way it's pronounced in some accents).

  2. I'm usually okay with these unless I just make a typo. I make more typos when I started writing more. More than I ever made before.

  3. I always look up dessert/desert to make sure I didn't mix up the spellings. :)

  4. I LOVE this!! Wonderful examples.

  5. Haha! This is hilarious! I've never heard of someone confusing "stared" and "starred", but I guess I see how they could.

    Also, the "lose" "loose" thing kills me, too. I never had problem with it because "loose" sounds like it has two "o"s in it. At least to me it does.

    Anyway, I'm really going to enjoy these posts! I'll probably learn something, as well.

    Another thing that bothers me: people mistaking "you're" and "your".

    It should be, "You're so beautiful!"

    And: "Why is your house elf dancing?"

    LOL. I bet as this goes on, I'm going to realize even more pet peeves. It'll be awesome!

    And sorry for not e-mailing you. I was busy with my sister's birthday, but I'll shoot you one as soon as I can;)

  6. Ahh, yes. Grammar is 'portant. ;)

    That being said, please have mercy on me while reading my story. There is a chapter where they eat dessert in the desert and I can guarantee that I switched a few of them up. ;)

  7. I try to stay alert for such look-alike words, but they sometimes trip me up nonetheless. Great post. : )

  8. Mood-I've seen definately a time or too, as well.

    Laura-Yeah, typos abound in writing. I've made some typos that had me mortified and giggling. ;)

    Tara-All right! :D I will do effect and affect soon.

    Tonja-There are some words I have to stop and doublecheck in my writing to make sure they're right. Even though I know what it SHOULD be, I have a tendency to switch some words automatically while I'm writing.

    Shanna-I see "your" and "you're" a lot, too, but for some reason it doesn't bother me as much as these two I posted. I'm weird. ;)

    Donna-Thank you!

    bookwormprinces-LOL, I totally understand. You should see some of the things I've switched up before. ;)

    Cynthia-Thank you! I think there are words that trip any writer up--we're writing so fast that typos and errors are inevitable. Which is why we end up with so many edits and rewrites. O_o

    Donna-Thank you! :D

  9. This was so funny and helpful!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!