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  • Labeled vs. labelledlabeled and labeling in the U.S.; labelled and labelling everywhere else.
  • Labor vs. labourlabor in the U.S.; labour everywhere else.
  • Laissez-faire1. the principle that government should not control business; 2. the wish not to control others.
  • Lambast vs. lambastelambaste in North America; lambast everywhere else.
  • Landlubber1. an unseasoned sailor; 2. one who prefers land or lives on land.
  • Lasagna vs. lasagnelasagna in North America; lasagne everywhere else.
  • Last names (plurals and possessives)
  • Laudable vs. laudatoryLaudable: deserving praise. Laudatory: expressing praise.
  • Lay out vs. layoutLay out (verb): 1. make a plan; 2. knock to the ground; 3. explain; 4. display; 5. arrange; 6. prepare (a corpse) for a funeral. Layout (noun): 1. a plan; 2. the arrangement of elements in a space.
  • Lay vs. lieLay makes laid and layingLie makes laylain, and lying
  • Lead vs. ledeA lede is a lead portion of a news story.
  • Leaped vs. leaptLeapt is preferred outside North America. Both are freely used in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Learned vs. learntLearned is more common everywhere, especially in the U.S. Learnt is especially common in British English.
  • Led vs. leadLed is the past tense and past participle of the verb lead.
  • Leftover vs. left overIt's one word (and usually plural) as a noun and as an adjective preceding what it modifies. It is two words when it is an adjective phrase following what it modifies.
  • Lend vs. loanLoan is now commonly used as a verb, although it is traditionally only a noun.
  • Lended vs. lentLended is yet to catch on anywhere.
  • Lest1. for fear that; 2. in order to avoid.
  • Levee vs. levyLevee: an embankment used to prevent water overflows. Levy: to collect taxes, to draft into military service, or to wage war against.
  • Liar vs. lierLiar: one who tells falsehoods. Lier: one who rests in a flat, reclined position.
  • Libel vs. slanderLibel is written defamation. Slander is defamation committed orally or in another fleeting form.
  • Licence vs. licenseIn the U.S., license is both a noun and a verb. Outside the U.S., the noun is spelled licence.
  • Licorice vs. liquoricelicorice in North America; liquorice in the U.K. and Ireland. Australians and New Zealanders use both.
  • LieutenantThe word is spelled this way no matter how it's pronounced.
  • Light vs. liteLite is mainly a commercial variant.
  • Lighted vs. litBoth forms are old and common everywhere, though lighted is generally favored in the U.S. while lit is generally favored everywhere else.
  • Lightening vs. lightningLightening: the present participle of lighten. Lightning: an abrupt electrical discharge in the atmosphere.
  • Likable vs. likeablelikable in the U.S.; likeable everywhere else.
  • Like gangbusters1. very well; 2. (starting off) with a bang.
  • Linchpin vs. lynchpinLinchpin is preferred everywhere, and it is even more so in the U.S.
  • Liter vs. litreliter in the U.S.; litre everywhere else.
  • Literally vs. figurativelyLiterally: actually. Figuratively: metaphorically.
  • Litmus testIn its figurative sense, a litmus test is a test that draws broad conclusions based on a single factor. By extension, the phrase also refers to a single factor that is useful for drawing a broad conclusion.
  • Lo, lo and beholdLo: an interjection used to attract attention or to show surprise. Low and behold: usually expresses sarcastic surprise.
  • Loath vs. loathe (vs. loth)Loathe is a verb. Loath is an adjective.
  • Log in vs. log onLog on is popular web parlance for visit (a website). To log in is to sign in with login credentials.
  • Log in vs. loginThe noun/adjective is one word (or hyphenated). The verb is two words.
  • Lonely vs. lonesomeThere is not much difference between them in practical usage.
  • Longetivity vs. longevityLongevity is the standard form.
  • Look out vs. lookout (vs. look-out)The one-word form is a noun and an adjective. The verb is two words.
  • Loose vs. loseLose: to suffer a loss. Loose: 1. not tightly fitted; 2. to release.
  • Lorrythe British word for truck.
  • Lovable vs. loveableLovable is the more common spelling throughout the English-speaking world.
  • LowlifeIt's usually one word, and it's pluralized lowlifes.
  • Ludditeone who opposes new technology.
  • Lustful vs. lustyLustful: full of craving, especially sexual craving: Lusty: vigorous or in robust health.
  • Luxuriant vs. luxuriousLuxurious: marked by luxury. Luxuriant: profuse, abundant, or excessively florid.

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