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Odds ‘N’ Ends: Mantel, Lose, And More

At Writer’s Relief, we love difficult words. Yep, our proofreaders actually enjoy words and phrases that cause trouble: Mantel or mantle? Lose or loose? For example…i.e. or e.g.? And what about the word “hopefully”? Read on to find out how to properly use these words and phrases when you are writing sentences.

Mantel or Mantle?

Use “mantel” when referring to the shelf above a fireplace. Use “mantle” to refer to a cloak or loose garment worn over other clothes. “Mantle” can also be used as a verb, as in to cover with (or as if with) a mantle.

Lose or Loose?

Use “lose” as a verb. You can lose a bet, lose the game, or lose your mind, but you can’t “loose” any of your faculties or possessions. “Loose” can be used as a verb too, as in “Use the hook to loosen the knot,” but, for the most part, use “loose” as an adjective. You can have a loose tooth, a loose screw, and loose change; you can have loose pants and loose morals, but don’t worry, it won’t make you a “looser.”

For example…i.e. or e.g.?

The abbreviation e.g. stands for the Latin exempli gratia, which means “for example.” It must be followed by one or more examples. However, using e.g. does not mean that the list is a complete one.

We have several breeds of puppies available; e.g., hounds, labs, and poodles, and there are several mixed breeds as well.

The abbreviation i.e. stands for the Latin id est, meaning “that is.” It should be followed by an explanation rather than a list of examples.

Don’t forget to attend the greatest match of all times. Come support the pride of Utah; i.e., the Howlin’ Huskies, on Saturday afternoon.

• Don’t forget to use a period after each letter; both are abbreviations.

• Use a comma after i.e. or e.g.

• You may use either abbreviation at the beginning of a sentence or in a parenthetical statement.

• If either abbreviation is used within the body of the sentence, use a semicolon before the expression and a comma afterward.

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Hopefully (adverb)

1) in a hopeful manner
2) it is hoped; I hope; we hope

Hopefully, this drought will end soon.

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:

In the 1960s the second usage of hopefully underwent a surge in popularity and was then followed by a flood of criticism. But the word in question belongs to a class of adverbs called “disjuncts,” which serve as a means by which the author or speaker can comment directly to the reader—usually on the content of the sentence to which they are attached. Many other adverbs are used in a similar fashion, such as frankly, luckily, unfortunately, but “are so ordinary as to excite no comment or interest whatsoever.” The second usage of hopefully is considered to be standard.

So there you have it: Mantel or mantle, lose or loose, for example, i.e. or e.g… Hopefully, we’ve cleared this up for you. But if not, Writer’s Relief is here to help!

2 Responses to Odds ‘N’ Ends: Mantel, Lose, And More

  1. If there’s a loss of an o then it’s lose. Two full turns of an o will make something tight become loose.

  2. My favorite two words people confuse are loan and lend. Lend is a verb (I will lend him the money.), and loan is a noun. (The money I lend him is a loan.).

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