Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Much ado about alot

Recently I've been surfing blogs, and there is something I want to tell some of you. (You will know who you are.)

Alot is not a word. Whatever gave you the idea that it was?

You are free to use it, of course. As a language teacher I understand that language is constantly changing. Words change and develop over time, new words are coined, and language usage changes. Trying to freeze language at one particular time and place in its development is a waste of time and energy. It doesn't work. So if you think that alot is a word, and many of you clearly do, go ahead and use it. It may even become a word if you use it often enough. SEE IF I CARE.

But before you go, tell me this. If you're going to join articles to determiners (or quantifiers, or whatever you want to call them), what's to stop you also using afew? Alittle? Abit? And will you stop there? Are you going to start on nouns next? ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE MY JOB IMPOSSIBLE? AND ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE THE "A" SECTION OF THE DICTIONARY ABSOLUTELY HUGE AND USELESS? Because if you are, I want some advance warning so I can look for another job.

Now that I've got that off my chest I think I'll have aslice of toast and acup of tea.


Megan said...

Funniest. Post. EVER. My God, thanks for the laugh. (Now I'm wondering if I've written "alot" too!)

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is, many people are not even aware of their spelling mistakes, or they might look them up. But you would THINK that they'd learn eventually!


Ecks Ridgehead said...

Finally, someone writing a blog who actually cares about words! I'll join your quest. Oh, and while we're at it, can we crusade against people who pour over things instead of poring over them?

Badaunt said...

Actually, don't tell anybody (you'll make them all nervous), but I've been keeping a list. Poring/pouring is already on there. :-)

I'm not quite sure yet what I'll do with this list. (I'm not keeping records of where they came from, by the way.) If it gets long enough I might compose an entire blog entry from them.

Murphy's Law dictates that sometime in the new few days I'll be producing a monster gaffe myself. It'll go on the list, too.

Paula said...

Apostrophe misuse is what drives me nuts--and I'm talking way beyond the "normal" mistakes of its/it's and your/you're. "Please don't leave rude comment's!" Like that. ARGH!

Re spelling: definately. Grrrr!

melinama said...

How about my most hated construction, as epitomized in this commercial: "Being a dancer, my legs appreciate [brand of pantyhose]." Is there a name for this insanity-provoking error?