Someone, somewhere, probably in the Third, at some point taught/published/used and confused the terms “lose” (for those of you taken captive by this madness, pronounced [looz]) and “loose” ([loos]).  It is emerging as the most common English orthography mistake of all time, eclipsing even the notoriously misunderstood “affect” and “effect”.

For those who aren’t sure, ‘lose’ means to have something go missing, be lost, or metaphorically, to be deprived of, as in ‘lose control’.  I lose my keys when I misplace them.

 ‘Loose’ means to untie, to let go free, metaphorically to be unrestrained as in ‘loose morals’.  A bolt that isn’t properly tightened is loose.