The English language is sometimes difficult to penetrate and understand. However, there are a few rules and those that exist are being broken – regularly!
Several years ago when I was in a corporate environment, my supervisor used “alot” in a sentence in a marketing piece. I informed her that “alot” did not exist and that the correct wording was “a lot” – two words.
She argued vociferously with me, saying she had always used the supposed one word version.
I showed her in the dictionary that her variation was not correct. She STILL argued with me. Taking the “turn the other cheek” approach, I decided to ignore her, but to correct any future uses that were not “a lot” to protect the company image.
If you are speaking about doling out items, providing them to each person, then you have a real word: allot. And, you can be allotting an item to a budget or someone.
We are not speaking of allot when talking about the “a lot” vs “alot” dilemma.
If someone was attempting to avoid the “lot” issue and chose instead to speak of “too much,” then I find further issues with English language problems.
Too much grief!
People are regularly confused about to, too, and two.
Succinctly, “to” indicates a direction – you give “to” someone, something, etc. Example: She provided the cookies to the class party.
“Too” is used to show an abundance/not enough (extreme in either direction) or also. Examples:
The party was too much fun to leave early as she had planned. (abundance)
“Too little too late” was John’s effort to apologize. (not enough)
He decided to attend, too. (also)
“Two” is the number – She owned two cars.
So, the English teacher has now left the building!
Shelley on Your Shoulder – aka Book Writing Success Coach – is ready to help people tangle and wrangle with the English language to complete their writing project. More on other issues in future blogs.