When you see the typewriter, it is one of my “I’ve got a ruler and I am rapping your knuckles with it” teacher coming out to get your grammar in line. I have a few pet peeves and when they pop up, well, they appear in my blog.
Today’s Grammar Primer (pet peeve): “A Lot” is not “alot.” I see these two separate words copulating like West Virginia cousins and it is just wrong, wrong, wrong. The origin of “a lot” refers to a unit of measure. Please, oh please, separate these two words in your writing.
Pronunciation: (lot), [key] —n., v., lot•ted, lot•ting, —adv. —n. 1. one of a set of objects, as straws or pebbles, drawn or thrown from a container to decide a question or choice by chance. 2. the casting or drawing of such objects as a method of deciding something: to choose a person by lot. 3. the decision or choice made by such a method. 4. allotted share or portion: to receive one’s lot of an inheritance. 5. the portion in life assigned by fate or Providence; one’s fate, fortune, or destiny: Her lot had not been a happy one. 6. a distinct portion or piece of land: a building lot. 7. a piece of land forming a part of a district, city, or other community. 8. South Midland and Southern U.S.a farmyard or barnyard. 9. a piece of land having the use specified by the attributive noun or adjective: a parking lot; a used-car lot. 10. Motion Pictures.a motion-picture studio and its surrounding property. 11. a distinct portion or parcel of anything, as of merchandise: The furniture was to be auctioned off in 20 lots. 12. a number of things or persons collectively: There’s one more, and that’s the lot. 13. kind of person; sort: He’s a bad lot. 14. Often, lots. a great many or a great deal: a lot of books; lots of money. 15. Chiefly Brit.a tax or duty. 16. cast or cast in one’s lot with, to ally oneself with; share the life and fortunes of: She had cast her lot with the bohemian crowd. 17. draw or cast lots, to settle a question by the use of lots: They drew lots to see who would go first. —v.t.