There's A Lot Riding On The Right Use Of 'Allot'

The 1998 greatest hits album by Faith No More is entitled Who Cares A Lot? Take note. It is not called Who Cares Alot?

Picture: Getty Images

The point is not that it's shameless to put out a greatest hits record with only two tracks that anyone who is not a devoted Faith No More fan will recognise. The point is that "a lot" is a phrase which includes two separate words.

Here at Mind Your Language, we recognise that on occasion English phrases of the form "a something" may eventually elide to become the phrase "asomething". Awhile is an obvious example. But we reject alot as a future evolution for a simple reason: it creates too much confusion with the existing verb allot. So you shouldn't use it.

We care a lot about language. So you need to allot some mental space to getting it right. Accuracy matters.

Lifehacker's Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.


Comments

    I remember an English teacher saying... "A Little" is two words... therefore "A Lot" is two words... really not that hard to remember

    The Alot Is Better Than You At Everything

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

      I really like this alot :D

    "But we reject alot as a future evolution for a simple reason: it creates too much confusion with the existing verb allot. " That is a pissweak reason to reject the natural evolution of language.

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