Alittle Riding on ‘A Lot’

Typebars in a 1920s typewriter

Language Lessons. ... Image via Wikipedia

Hopefully you looked twice at the title, which highlights the absurdity central to today’s topic: the correct construction of a particular little phrase we all use … a lot.

That’s right: the proper form is “a lot”—two words, not one. Go ahead: look at it, admire it, soak it in, bask in its glory. Don’t rob the “a” of its rightful recognition, nor the “lot” of its importance, as so many people unfortunately do by using “alot.”

Think of it this way: If you were describing how you needed a small amount of something, would you say (or write): “Could I have alittle money?” No, of course you wouldn’t, because you know that would be grammatically wrong, as well as ridiculous. So why do you do it with “alot”? It’s the same type of construction, just using “lot” in place of “little” or “bunch” or whatever other quantitative descriptor you might have reason to use—so treat it the same!

Class dismissed. =)

P.S.: Props to my wife for suggesting this topic. =)

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lyricalmeanings
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 11:04:14

    I got that metaphorically beaten into me from primary school when I used to think they liked to be together. Incidently the reason I thought A and Lot should be toegther was because A and Loud were. However I meant ‘allowed’.
    Sometime I wonder how I ever passed English.

    Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    Reply

  2. jasondrexler
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 14:00:03

    Your “aloud” story is funny. Thanks for the comment.

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Say ‘Good Night’ to ‘Goodnight’ « Jason Drexler Writes
  4. rainbowheartlove
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 14:56:15

    My spell check is always marking my “alot” with red lines. (Like now.)

    Reply

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