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a lot vs. alot


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On 4.10.2013 at 12:49 AM, veenux said:

This still confuses me.

Are both versions right? I see and read both of them pretty frequently, 'a lot' seems to be more common though, and it's what I used most often.

Alot vs. a lot

Yes, this is a classic case of misspelling.  It's one of those words that gets misspelled so often one can easily get the impression that there are actually two different -- and correct --  ways to spell it.  But that's not the case.  As the others on this thread have said, the correct spelling is "a lot." 

There is also a verb, "allot" which means to divide, or to give out, or to distribute. 

As in, "His schedule was busy so he could only allot a few minutes  to answer questions."

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I believe "a lot" is the correct usage of this word or phrase.

Indeed, "a lot" is the right way to write this, and I learned it the hard way; criticism and mocking when I adopted "alot" in casual online chatting many years ago

I believe still that "alot" is many times used as a colloquial (but incorrect) variant, mostly used by young teens.

It could also be a sort or incorrect transliteration for "allot" which is a verb that has nothing to do with "a lot" (a large number of)

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The only correct version is "a lot".

Think of it this way; it is the same thing as saying  "a bunch" or "a ton". The "lot" in question is a unit of measurement and needs an article.

You dont want "aton" or "abunch" of money, or "alot" of money. You want A ton, A bunch, A lot, or A load of it ;)

There is also a funny and helpful webcomic about this;

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

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The only correct version is "a lot".

Think of it this way; it is the same thing as saying  "a bunch" or "a ton". The "lot" in question is a unit of measurement and needs an article.

You dont want "aton" or "abunch" of money, or "alot" of money. You want A ton, A bunch, A lot, or A load of it ;)

There is also a funny and helpful webcomic about this;

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

Thanks for sharing the web comic.  I like the writer's way of coping with seeing grammatical errors  and spelling errors and not getting upset about them.  It is quite frustrating to see the same errors over and over.  It makes me think the whole society is devolving into illiteracy! 

Thinking of "alot" as a creature is very amusing.  I think this will work for me, too.  The next time I see that misspelling I'll remember that cute creature!

Thanks also for your explanation of why it is "a lot" and not the misspelling.  You're so right.  We would never say "abunch."  :)

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When I first encountered it, I thought people used it due to laziness even when knowing the correct form. I know there's an "allot" but the meaning isn't even related. And nice web comic. I think I've encountered that way back through another forums. It's a funny way of reminding or teaching people the correct form.

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It is actually two words, but is commonly mistaken for a singular word. I think the confusion comes from combining some words like "everyone" and "wherever". It took me a while to realize that it didn't fall under the same rule.

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Try to remember this rule: The opposite of "a lot" is "a bit"or "a little". Logically if you can write "alot" then you should also be able to write "abit" and "alittle". But do "abit" and "alittle" exist? No. Ditto for "alot". It is only "a lot" that exists.

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I already saw the hyperbole and a half link, and this question seems fairly settled, but I thought it would be worth it to post another webcomic link that deals with 'a lot' and a few other oft misspelled words.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

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A lot means a plethora of something, where alot is actually not a word at all. When I was young I had a lot of issues with this but it is one thing that has really stuck in my brain as an adult.

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  • 4 years later...

obviously a lot is correct. In this digital age, people just want to write things as fast and easy as possible, so they often just write alot instead of a lot...:=) still pretty funny thoughalot vs. a lot.png

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  • 2 years later...

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