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It’s pouring here! And I drew back the curtains as much as I could to see the rain, fixed myself a hot cuppa tea and pulled the blanket over my knees to sit and enjoy the evening. The plan was to do something else, but a number of posts on Facebook caught my attention with one same mistake – the use of “alot”. The sheer number of times I saw this today makes me wonder if this has become one of those things – a mistake that people make without realising it.

So some of the statuses I saw today were:

Enjoying alot with my cousins
May Lord Krishna bless you alot
I bought alot of new makeup products, but…
The pork I had alot of fat

Now, why is this a mistake? Simple – alot is not a word. Check any dictionary – alot doesn’t exist. Yet more people that I could count seem to use it.

Let’s see now what “lot” means. The word lot is defined as, “large number or amount, great deal.” When you say “a lot” you are simply adding an article before the noun to mean “a great deal or a large number”. For example,

Gingelly oil is used in a lot of cuisines
It rained a lot in some parts of the city
We received a lot of money in donation from someone anonymous

(Of course, there are other meanings of ‘lot’ too – such as space, in the case of a parking lot, but here, we are only talking about ‘lot’ in the case of large amount or number).

So basically a lot is a combination of an article and a noun. Like you’d say “a dog” or “the book”. But you wouldn’t combine the two, would you? You’d never write “adog” or “thebook”, right? You wouldn’t because it is incorrect. Likewise, “alot” is incorrect, and it should always, always be “a lot” because you wouldn’t say “alittle”, would you?

Why do people make this mistake though? I don’t really know, but I believe that we are all so used to saying “a lot” that some people assume it is what the word is, “alot” without really thinking about how illogical it is.

You may have written a lot of sentences with the incorrect “alot” but I’m hoping you won’t after today, yes?

 

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