Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Curmudgeon Groans

by Marsha Ward

Recently someone who owns a small publishing house posted a comment somewhere that contained the letters alot, which the person came back and corrected as allot. The person lamented the previous comment, acknowledging the misspelling.

Well, this brought The Curmudgeon out of hiding. You see, that person really meant a lot, (notice that there are two words) meaning a quantity of things. There is no word in English spelled alot.

The correction was no good, because allot means to distribute in arbitrary shares, apportion; or to assign as one's shares. We see it frequently in the word allotment. If I inherit a house, the deceased person did allot it to me. If I give a bowl of cereal to one child for breakfast, and a chocolate bar to another, I allot those food items to them.

You can figure out what roused The Curmudgeon from his closet. The fact that the person who made this egregious mistake buys and edits manuscripts for a living is just wrong!

7 comments:

  1. That's one of my biggest writing pet peeves! It bothers me A LOT whenever someone writes "alot."

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  2. It just makes me want to be an editor more and more.

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  3. My husband used to teach "a lot" in middle school by giving one student a poster with an "a" on it and another student a poster with "lot." Then he'd have then stand on opposite sides of the room to show the space they should put between the two words. One of my daughters once had a teacher who marked "no one" as incorrect on a paper she wrote and made her write it 25 times as "noone." She's a smart child and didn't get confused but I imagine there still may be children in that class writing "noone" instead of "no one."

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  4. We all make mistakes but it is harder to stomach when you realize this person has the power to refuse or edit other people's writing.

    Pam the teacher punishing correct work is more than sad.

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  5. All I can say is - OY!

    Alot, noone? From supposed professionals?

    Again, oy.

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  6. Sad state of affairs and it's getting worse.

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  7. I think you all will enjoy this:

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

    I love the Alot, a lot.

    ReplyDelete

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