Double-o Offsets

October 3, 2008

In a comment to my blogpost about the founding of the Campaign to Losen Standards, Hawkeye writes:

Guilty as charged (several times over). Knowing this doesn’t help much. All an offender can do is try his best to reduce it. It will never go away.

This is true. But why should the offender try to reduce it? Help is at hand from the CLS. We shall mitigate the linguistic impact of all these double-o’s with out own single-o’s. And to accomplish this we shall use one of the great innovations of the modern environmental movement – marrying markets and pollution reduction.

Just as people who fly in private jets can buy carbon offsets to make up for all the CO2 they’re emitting, people who feel guilty about repeatedly turning ‘lose’ into ‘loose’ can buy offsets from the CLS. For every offset they purchase, the CLS will restore the balance of ‘o’s in the world by publishing a blogpost in which ‘loose’ is turned into ‘lose’.

The number of offsets to be purchased will depend on the readership of the original error. So very few offsets for a blogpost, more offsets for a news ticker, and even more for a newspaper article. Details of exactly how many offsets will be worked out through intensive modeling by quants who worked for investment banks and can now be hired for cheap.

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The Campaign to Losen Standards

October 1, 2008

I am starting yet another NGO. This one is in response to people everywhere adding an extra ‘o’ to the word ‘lose’. So we have TOI editorials talking about India loosing the war on terror, blogposts talking about Ganguly being a looser, and news tickers flashing breaking news about investors who loose money on the stock markets.

This regrettable tendency is leading to an excess amount of ‘o’s in the English language, which may eventually overwhelm its carrying capacity. To bring the ecosystem back into balance, I propose that we start writing the actual ‘loose’ with only one ‘o’. So we would have lose jeans, lose women, losened monetary policy, and Nokia’s losening grip on the Indian handset market. People would go to gastro-enterologists complaining of lose motions.

I think it is time to unleash this idea. Or rather, to let it lose.