I spotted a photocopied sign posted around campus yesterday and for the first time I truly wished my cell phone could take pictures. The sign was posted by a (presumably undergrad) student and read as follows:
LOST OR STOLEN! ENG### TEXTBOOK GUIDE TO CONCISE WRITING
Please return this book. I need it. If you seen or stole it please call 978-###-#### so I can come get it.
After the word "you" someone wrote" 've." After the word "stole" they wrote "n."
The sign ended with typed all caps exclaiming "I NEED THIS BOOK!!!" I had an evil urge to write in "Obviously!" but I took the high road and walked away.
Lately I've noticed a lot of bloggers and forum posters are using the word "loose" in place of "lose" and "loosing" in place of "losing." For example: "What do you do when you loose one of your knitting needles?" Feeling obnoxious and superior to these people, I would secretly chuckle at their misguided use of language. But the more I encounted the mistake the more paranoid I became. The final straw was when I saw the word used in this headline in the NY Daily News online the other day. Is something happening within our linguistic conventions in which this is a now an acceptable practice? I was beginning to fear for my academic sanity when, while googling the link for the Daily News article, I spotted this little nugget from the Columbia Journalism Review. Thank you Merrill Perlman!!
While I'm on the subject, when did "addicting"--as in "I can't stop playing this video game, it's very addicting"--become a word?