Thursday, September 4, 2008

Allot vs. A Lot

When writing and editing your blog grammatical mistakes will sometimes arise. Although in marketing rules are meant to be broken – rules in grammar must be obeyed. The trick is to catch these mistakes before someone else does. The use of “allot” vs “a lot”is a common mistake often found in blogs, web articles and forum entries.

1. Allot is a verb that means to distribute, to assign a portion, or to divide.

Example: He allotted himself 20 minutes to complete his blog entry.
Example 2: They allotted 30 GB of server space to each account during the site upgrade.

2. A lot (two words) is an informal phrase meaning a large portion or large quantity of something. According to style guides and English rule books it is proper to use “a lot” when describing non-countable quantities such as sand, water, ice, or time. The word “many” should be used when describing countable items such as hours, people, or items.

Example: A lot of time has passed since I first started this blog entry.
Example 2: I don’t have a lot of time to finish this blog entry.

3. Alot is not even a word in the English language and therefore should not to be used.


James Broadfoot said...

Thanks for this post. I've known this for some time and as a screenwriter I'm not a complete stickler for proper grammar, but I do try to be true to our language in most cases. I have even been corrected for the use of "a lot" by seemingly intelligent people.

James Broadfoot said...

Notice the use of "some time" in my previous comment. These type words are another bone of contention. Anytime,any time or into and in to; so much butchery.