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"Alot": Something the Internet informed me about.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jack Briggs, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Until the World Wide Web arrived I thought most people spelled most of the words they knew correctly. Not so, apparently.

    One misspelling that I have seen on Internet message boards (starting with this one) is actually not a misspelling but an attempt at a conjoined word: "Alot" -- as in "a lot."

    Really. I see it all over the place. Which leads me to conclude that the spelling of English words here in the U.S. (or the joining of two separate words when such is not called for) is a hit-or-miss deal.

    But how did people ever come to think that the words "a" and "lot" are combined into "alot"?
     
  2. David Williams

    David Williams Well-Known Member

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    I'm still puzzled that people can't seem to spell the relatively simple word 'losing'... I can't tell you how many 'loosing's I've seen.
     
  3. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Well-Known Member

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    I've always spelled it "a lot" because it was drilled into me at a very early age.

    "Loose" for "lose" drives me crazy. So do the many misspellings of "their," "there," and "they're."

    eta: At least in this thread I should know how to spell "misspelled."
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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    When I was looking for condos (quite a few years ago), I did a search for "condiminiums" and saw several great leads....

    Later on I searched for "condominiums" and couldn't find ANY of the previous links!!! I was stunned until I realized what I had done. It's amazing how many misspellings there were out there!
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to be a spelling/grammar nazi, but the one thing I absolutely cannot stand is the use of "of" rather than "have". More specifically, the contraction of have -- 've -- is misunderstood as "of" because they sound phonetically similar.

    As in:

    could've = could of
    should've = should of

    They should of known better. I would of if I could of.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    All I no is I'm loosing my ability to spell alot of words from to much reading on the internet. I could've saved myself alot of trouble if I stuck with good books, but its to hard. Some people here prolly dont agree. But that's they're problem and I could care less.


    It's spoken word and understand essentially as one word, so it's a simple assumption that it's spelled as one word.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps. But what, exactly, did these people do when they were taught how to spell in grade school? They certainly were not paying attention.
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    I started a little thread here two months ago or so about how this forum (and a couple of others, but mostly this one) has really helped me improve my spelling and sentence structure. Spell Check is like an automatic dictionary. BTW, it's "allot", with two l's. What can I say. I'm a Spell Check junkie!
     
  9. Steve_Pannell

    Steve_Pannell Well-Known Member

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    The Internet will ruin you if you're not careful. When I see words misspelled so many time I start to doubt my own spelling abilities. I've had to look up some very simple words just to make sure that I am spelling them right.

    I've noticed the "alot" thing, too but the thing that really amazes me is the number of ways the word definitely can be spelled. (I hope I got it right)
     
  10. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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    I'm amazed at the number of people who don't know the difference between "then" and "than". It's not something I ever saw until the Internet, and now I see it everywhere.
    It boggles the mind.
     
  11. ThomasC

    ThomasC Well-Known Member

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    I know people in college that still have problems with "your" and "you're." You're in college, damn it!
     
  12. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Well-Known Member

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    In highschool I was taught that the correct spelling was "alot". So paying attention to teachers isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

    To this day I frequently forget to spell it "a lot".
     
  13. Bryan X

    Bryan X Well-Known Member

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    High school is two words. [​IMG]

    I hate it when people mix up 'to' and 'too'.

    Also, does it bug anyone else that when you post to a thread like this, it takes too damn long because you are paranoid about making a spelling or grammatical error? [​IMG]
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    It is not necessarily a condemnation of the educational system that these people with spelling and grammar deficiencies exist. I believe most of these people just don't care. They weren't taught that they should care...that grammar and spelling are important communication tools which will pay major dividends in their lives. The person I referenced above certainly is educated and smart enough to learn, after our many conversations, when to use "I" and when to use "me". But, I guess it just isn't really important enough to her to commit that understanding to memory.
     
  15. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but "allot" does not equal "a lot". Allot means to portion out or distribute: as in, "they were alloted a limited amount of time to complete the project". Spell checking may give the correct spelling, but does not prevent incorrect use of a word.
     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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    The other thing too is, the English language is such a hodge podge of crap, that anything goes. What's the point in learning proper spelling and grammar when people say things like "Hey, yo...you's want me and them to get ya some things?" [​IMG]
     
  17. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    Man, I always thought it had one "l" but I just assumed Spell Check knew what I was thinking. Oh well, thanks for setting me straight.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I agree with Mike; many people don't care that much, or forgot it along the way.

    It's also a matter of priority. I did well with spelling, and it remains important to me. But I retained nothing from K-12 history classes, and only took on history course in college.

    Now, the battle that rages at work among a cabal of engineers is whether civilized people use one space or two after a period, in typed manuscipts. [​IMG]
     
  19. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Well-Known Member

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    You're trying to make me cry, aren't you?
     
  20. BrettGallman

    BrettGallman Well-Known Member

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    Just bringing in the perspective of an English major here...

    Mark's quote here actually is grounded in truth. English is strange because it's such a linguistic mutt. In fact, it's considered one of the more difficult languages because it's never really had a systemic reform. It's just kind of evolved. Some people refer to it as a "living langauge" (I think that's the term anyway), which means it's constantly evolving. For example, what's presented here: "a lot" vs. "alot." There may have been a time when the latter was not accepted, but the more it's used, the more accepted it will become, despite the resistance of purists. You'd be surprised by how much this happens and has happened. For example, ever looked up what "epitome" really means vs. what a lot of people think it means. To say something is the "epitome" of something doesn't necessarily mean it's the best. In fact, it just means it's the average, or standard.

    Some things I consider more flexible in this manner than others. Like misunderstanding simple grammar and spelling (like there, their, and they're) is not acceptable to me. One thing that I've seen that's been changing over the years is the apostrophe s. Most people leave off the "s" if it's a name ending in "s," which they shouldn't. For example, "Barry Bonds' attourney" isn't right. There should still be an "s" there. I distinctly remember this lesson from FIRST grade, honestly.
     

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