Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grammar for Gamers

People who know me well probably know that I do some gaming.  I play a few online role-playing games primarily.  I'm not a hardcore gamer by any means.  But I have noticed a number of misused (and misspelled) words while reading blogs and forums related to these games. 

Some of these have really been bothering me.  I only have a few examples here, but I'm certain more will come to my attention.

The first one is using board rather than bored.  The poster was discussing things gamers do when their game is down and they are board.  The post was entertaining, but I really wanted to reply to it and correct the grammar.  In case you're not sure:

  • Board is a piece of wood or a surfboard.  It could be used interchangably with plank, as in a "plank of wood."
  • Bored indicates a person feeling like they have nothing to do, or that they wish they were doing something different than they are.
This is just another example of words that have absolutely nothing to do with each other except sounding alike.

Another error that irritates me is using the word loose for lose.  I see this one frequently both in-game and in the forums.  The only difference between the pronunciation of these words is, of course the "s."  In loose it is pronounced "s," but in lose it is pronounced "z."  I don't know why that is, really.  It's just one of those oddities of the English language.  I started to compare loose to words like moose and goose, but I went on to add choose and realized the rule broke there.  Because the "s" is choose is pronounced like a "z." 

Examples of the correct use of these words:

  • You can lose your dog; but if you loose it, you have intentionally let it go.  Loose isn't used this way much in modern English, though.
  • We use it more often thus: his pants are loose, her dress is loose, loosen your tie.

I'm only going to mention the last one briefly, as I have already addressed it in a previous post.  The contraction you're is frequently replaced by your.  I am quite certain that in most cases this is usually done for expediency.  It is still irritating to a stickler for proper grammar.

I'm not trying to pick on my gaming friends!  But I know that it is possible to be a gamer and still use proper grammar and spelling in most game related communication.  Of course, there are always exceptions.