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USAGE : ALOT: the final word

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Sunday, December 28, 2003, 4:24
Fact: Yes, there are bazzilions of entries for "alot"
when you do a Google search. BUT many of them are
there to point out that "alot" is not a word.

Washington State Univ:
Perhaps this common spelling error began because there
does exist in English a word spelled "allot" which is
a verb meaning to apportion or grant. The correct
form, with "a" and "lot" separated by a space is
perhaps not often encountered in print because formal
writers usually use other expressions such as "a great
deal," "often," etc. If you can't remember the rule,
just remind yourself that just as you wouldn't write
"alittle" you shouldn't write "alot."

One site reports that the "word" appears OFTEN on the
Internet in newsgroup and forum postings by
non-writers, but NEVER in print.  It is never found in
 newspapers, magazines or books, with some few
exceptions in the sports pages of small-town

see also these sites which preach against the use of
the non-word "alot": Most of these are sites by and/or
for writers.  The bottom line is, go ahead an use
"alot", but if you ever want to become a professional
writer and see your work in print, get used to the
fact that your editor will blue pencil "alot" and
correct it every place it appears.

If you are not already a best-selling author, be aware
that first readers will summarily reject a manuscript
from an unknown writer that uses "alot" because it
shows a casual disreagard for the language, and to be
a good writer you must love the language and respect
it.  That kind of disrespect for the langauge will not
impress an editor who has to wade through too much
dreck as it is.

entry from the Oxford Guide to Canadian English Usage:
Alot may eventually become an accepted spelling,
following the precedents of amiss, apiece, and awhile,
which were all originally written as two words. But
for now alot should be avoided. Dictionaries don't
list it, and many people consider its use a mark of


Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Tristan McLeay <zsau@...>
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>