How to Spell “A Lot”

Perhaps normal people have understandable phobias and pet peeves.  As an excessively dedicated writer, however, we have only warped versions of either.  To us, this is warped in its best possible sense.  For example, we cringe—no, we get a little physically ill—every time someone uses the word “alot” with me.

Of course, the major reason we have such a reaction to this word is that the only way this makes sense is if you’re referring to the mythical creature known as an alot (created by our friend at Hyperbole and a Half to help them cope with the same pain).  Therefore, “I care about this alot” turns into:

The H&aH coping mechanism may be the only truly effective one. After all, an “alot” makes a lot of sense as a mythical creature, especially when compared to how little sanity the broken spelling of the phrase “a lot” contains.

Let’s go ahead and break this small phrase into its different parts. The word “a” is a preposition. This is essential because the word “lot” is actually a noun being transformed into an adverb. The preposition clarifies that the “lot” is a description rather than a subject. So, for example, “I like this a lot” (you like whatever this is quite a bit) is made obviously different than “I like this lot” (you like a specific lot). Without this preposition, the subject of the sentence becomes dodgy.

Second, we have the word “lot.” This is the adverb describing the nature of how you feel, or what you’re observing, about the subject of the sentence. Other similar phrases used in the same model include “a ton,” “a little,” “a bit,” “a bunch,” “a bundle,” and so forth.

If someone started writing that they liked you “abunch,” or that they had “aton” of homework, wouldn’t you cry a little inside? Well, if not, perhaps you’re just more sane than we are. Or perhaps you reflexively create mythical “abunch” and “aton” creatures to help you through the agony?

For more awesome alot pictures, we strongly recommend checking out the full alot entry at H&aH.