Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: A lot, or alot?


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    A lot, or alot?

    Hi everyone,

    My second query for this forum

    I was talking about how the correct way to use the term is, 'a lot'. That is to say, to use it separately and not conjoined as in 'alot'.

    To this, a friend in another forum objected as such:

    I will post in order of how we posted to each other for sake of not doing any injustice to the argument holder.


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: A lot, or alot?

    ALOT as opposed to A LOT:

    The next mistake I see is the two words "a lot" that are made to become a quasi-compound word "alot" which is in fact a word unto itself:

    ALOT equals:

    - Nothing, the correct way to write this would be, ALLOT. The word "allot" however, would now mean:

    - Give out
    - Allow to have
    - Administer or bestow, as in small portions


    A LOT (with a space inbetween the words) equals:

    - To a very great degree or extent, like in "I feel a lot better"

    I see people use the letters alot to mean a lot quiet a bit. The correct way of course, is the one with the space in between the two words.

    Meanings of the words courtesy of WordWeb 5 the Free Dictionary and Thesaurus


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    His response...

    Maybe they mean - Alot is a town and a nagar panchayat in Ratlam district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India.

    Or they are influenced by the fact that in its origins in Proto-North Sarawak in which it was written as alud and can't seem to shkae it off.

    Or they are aware that language is alive and ever-changing. How long ago was the proper way to write eggs still 'egges'?


    [isa's NOTE: The topic of egges and eggs was my initial query in this forum]


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: A lot, or alot?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    . . . Or they are aware that language is alive and ever-changing. How long ago was the proper way to write eggs still 'egges'?

    How long ago? I do not know.

    All I know is that in our current and up to date dictionaries, there is no such word as alot

    When our alive and everchanging language succeeds in admitting the word alot into the dictionaries to mean a lot I would beg we use the accepted norm a lot till then


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    His response...

    Rest assured Isa, as someone studying linguistics and especially language change/formation I'm well aware of not only the history of the word 'egges/eggs' but also the topics surrounding language change.

    I suggested that there may be a group of ardent anti-académie style posters here as a light-hearted joke.

    Nevertheless, those who use alot can only be accused of using phonemic spelling, there are few who would pronounce the term /'eı 'lɒt/ rather you see mostly - /'əlɒt/ or /'əlɒʔ/. From this we even see the word 'alotta' which is a contraction of 'a lot of' which in speech is /'əlɒɾʌ/.
    As Australian English in particular is well known for these phonemic spellings and ortographical speech-based contractions (just think of g'day for an example) most won't even think twice before using 'alot' or 'awhile' and in time I could almost assure you the term alot will appear in the dictionaries as there is nothing about the term which would not allow it to do so.

    I do agree with the Word-influenced -ize usage... We are Aussies, and no program will change the way we spell! We write standardise and not standardize, colour and not color, mum and not mom!


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: A lot, or alot?

    Habibi Mecca Cola,

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    Rest assured Isa, as someone studying linguistics and especially language change/formation I'm well aware of not only the history of the word 'egges/eggs' but also the topics surrounding language change.

    I suggested that there may be a group of ardent anti-académie style posters here as a light-hearted joke.

    Nevertheless, those who use alot can only be accused of using phonemic spelling, there are few who would pronounce the term /'eı 'lɒt/ rather you see mostly - /'əlɒt/ or /'əlɒʔ/. From this we even see the word 'alotta' which is a contraction of 'a lot of' which in speech is /'əlɒɾʌ/.
    As Australian English in particular is well known for these phonemic spellings and ortographical speech-based contractions (just think of g'day for an example) most won't even think twice before using 'alot' or 'awhile' and in time I could almost assure you the term alot will appear in the dictionaries as there is nothing about the term which would not allow it to do so.

    I do agree with the Word-influenced -ize usage... We are Aussies, and no program will change the way we spell! We write standardise and not standardize, colour and not color, mum and not mom!


    Yaa Habibi Mecca Cola,

    Firstly, Allaah yahdeek Yaa Habibi!

    Secondly, I am but a layperson when it comes to lingistics, at best, an amateur etymologist. Maybe not even that, but a pro-etymologist would be more proper? Anyway.

    Thirdly, I was referring to your comment:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    Maybe they mean - Alot is a town and a nagar panchayat in Ratlam district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India.

    Or they are influenced by the fact that in its origins in Proto-North Sarawak in which it was written as alud and can't seem to shkae it off.

    Or they are aware that language is alive and ever-changing. How long ago was the proper way to write eggs still 'egges'?


    I am sane enough to understand that your first two comments were just plain playing funnies. Your last statement however was a challenge and I took it up bi'idhni'L-Laah.

    I am still waiting for the answer to the question you asked!

    You allude to the fact that the use of egges was as if it was like a few years back! Whereas I could only come to the conclusion that by the farthest stretch of reasoning (according to Sheikh Google) the last time that I could justify the use of the word egges was by Aubrey, upto his death 1697, which is 47 years post the Middle English period, the period when the word egg was taught to be spelt egges.

    So, your allusion in my sight was an unjust one!

    "Come on, just look at how long ago we used the spelling of the word egg, as egge? So the use of alot could change in just as short an amount of time!" This is the impression I got from your comment;

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    . . . Or they are aware that language is alive and ever-changing. How long ago was the proper way to write eggs still 'egges'?

    Maybe you were making fun of the people that could possibly argue as such? I dunno. If this was the case, I apologise for assuming that you were making a challenge.

    Allaah is the Witness of our hearts, intentions and actions.

    Although, changing tables around by stating in your second lengthy post (OK, not as lengthy as mine ), that the word alot may be a part of our dictionary because the word g'day made it, is not right. Only because, the fact that the word g'day is in the dictionaries of today. Also, the word g'day was in our language phonetically. So for it to enter the dictionary is no surprise! Colloquial English makes it to the dictionary, so what?

    Please, what is so colloquial or phonetical about alot that would deserve it to enter the dictionaries?

    Yes, they may pronounce the word as a compound word, however, when you ask them to emphasise it, then you shall see that indeed, they are aware that it is two seperate words. Most unlike the word g'day, where they can emphasise it both ways, as in the example below.

    I have heard people say g'day whilst emphasising it, as both "Good-day!", and "Guh-day!". On the other hand, I have NEVER heard the word alot be emphasised upon as "Al-lot!", or even, "Al-ot!" for that matter. It has always been emphasised as "A-lot!", ya`nee as two seperate words.

    Go on, here's an exercise for you Habibi, next time you go to dars at IISNA, or to any large gathering, or even when you meet up with other friends, ask them to emphasise both the words g'day and a lot. I am quiet sure that bi'idhni'L-Laah, whoever you ask about the words (that has proper English), you may get a variant of guh-day or good-day, but you will not get a variant of a lot alluding to al-lot, or al-ot, where the two seperate words seems conjoined. Jot down your findings and I am sure that you will see what I am saying is true. Allaahu A`lam bi'th-thawaab.

    All in all, I would still request from you, min fadlik, to let us know:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    . . . How long ago was the proper way to write eggs still 'egges'?





    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    His response...

    ...Just to clarify...

    The egges example was the first example that jumped into my head simply because it was sitting on a piece of paper in front of me.

    To examine the subject seriously -
    Another is 2 words - 'an other', however over time the spelling came to match the pronunciation and it became 1 word.
    Apart is made up of two words 'a' and 'part' etc. thera era many many examples just using a simlar pattern as 'alot'.

    The main contention here though is about language change.
    There are always those who say we should stick to what exists and there should be no variation, and the common trends forcing change to take place.
    Look at the words of one linguist on his stance on language change-
    'Our tung shold be written cleane and pure, vnmixt and vnmangeled with borrowing og other tunges' (John Cheke, 1557)
    As history bears witness, lhis attempts failed miserably, the way we write and speak is vastly different to Cheke's times.
    Does that mean that the language indeed did become corrupted? Did it become impure or less of a language?

    Its hard to say generally. There are times I will refuse to take up some changes (most of the time actually) and times when a change will be welcomed or even seen as an improvement.
    The revision of American (US) spelling was based around this (along with helping to carve a new national identity seperate to that of Britain), making spelling represent pronunciation more clearly.

    Even Shakespeare was responsible for introducing many new words into the English language, such as - 'obscene', accomodation' and 'laughable', words we couldn't imagine not using these days.

    New words, new spellings and new variations on words are constantly arising especially in our age. Standards are fastly becoming obsolete, words like 'oxen' are becoming a thing of the past and 'oxes' is becoming more common. Platypii and virii are becoming platypuses and viruses.
    Just as English lost its inflivted endings and words like stana became 'stones' and egges became 'eggs', English also began to standardise its many plural forms into a single form with many of the Germanic and Latin plural forms becoming obsolete and they do until today (as in oxen (germanic) and virii (latin)).

    I'm sure you can understand a bit about language change, you'd be well aware of many examples that you would use yourself. Just as these changes continue to take place, the case of 'alot' over 'a lot' is occuring nowadays. Unfortunately or language purists the trends all indicate that in time 'alot' will be an equal standard along with 'a lot', however this is one of the rare cases where I am well behind the inclusion of the dear term into our vocabulary.

    As for then/than, and the others I agree without doubt that the standard and non-standard are clear and should always be obeyed...


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: A lot, or alot?



    Habibi, I read your response, but for the majority of your statement, you never answered my query of your egges query, in a clear fashion.

    Just as your query was a straightforward one, so was my one.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    . . . How long ago was the proper way to write eggs still 'egges'?
    Also, your reply was filled with linguistical changes that I never argued about, and to be quite frank, I did not understand why you ever brought it up, and why you made such a big deal of it???

    Khayr

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    ...Just to clarify...

    The egges example was the first example that jumped into my head simply because it was sitting on a piece of paper in front of me.


    So, we have learnt the lesson of not saying/typing the first thing that comes to mind I believe that was a very bad example to use.

    Also, when was the word egges last used?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    To examine the subject seriously -
    Another is 2 words - 'an other', however over time the spelling came to match the pronunciation and it became 1 word.
    Apart is made up of two words 'a' and 'part' etc. thera era many many examples just using a simlar pattern as 'alot'.


    Habibi these words are what they teach as compound words. Two seperate words, spelt as one!

    As my argument still stands, these words have made it into the dictionary, and there is no matter to spell it as such. Actually, it has become wrong to spell them separately!

    I never said that I disagree with words changing. I have always stated that I stand for using correct English when we are made aware of it and use it. That is all!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    The main contention here though is about language change.
    There are always those who say we should stick to what exists and there should be no variation, and the common trends forcing change to take place.
    Look at the words of one linguist on his stance on language change-
    'Our tung shold be written cleane and pure, vnmixt and vnmangeled with borrowing og other tunges' (John Cheke, 1557)
    As history bears witness, lhis attempts failed miserably, the way we write and speak is vastly different to Cheke's times.
    Does that mean that the language indeed did become corrupted? Did it become impure or less of a language?


    You mean your main contention, as it was never my main contention at all

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    Its hard to say generally. There are times I will refuse to take up some changes (most of the time actually) and times when a change will be welcomed or even seen as an improvement.
    The revision of American (US) spelling was based around this (along with helping to carve a new national identity seperate to that of Britain), making spelling represent pronunciation more clearly.

    Even Shakespeare was responsible for introducing many new words into the English language, such as - 'obscene', accomodation' and 'laughable', words we couldn't imagine not using these days.


    Again, I never said that language could not change! Never!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    New words, new spellings and new variations on words are constantly arising especially in our age. Standards are fastly becoming obsolete, words like 'oxen' are becoming a thing of the past and 'oxes' is becoming more common. Platypii and virii are becoming platypuses and viruses.
    Just as English lost its inflivted endings and words like stana became 'stones' and egges became 'eggs', English also began to standardise its many plural forms into a single form with many of the Germanic and Latin plural forms becoming obsolete and they do until today (as in oxen (germanic) and virii (latin)).


    I agree. But this was never my argument.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    I'm sure you can understand a bit about language change, you'd be well aware of many examples that you would use yourself. Just as these changes continue to take place, the case of 'alot' over 'a lot' is occuring nowadays. Unfortunately or language purists the trends all indicate that in time 'alot' will be an equal standard along with 'a lot', however this is one of the rare cases where I am well behind the inclusion of the dear term into our vocabulary.

    Habibi, not only do I understand , but I agree 100%!!! But this was never my argument If the words a lot eventually becomes alot and enters the dictionaries, fine, go ahead and use this instead.

    I am just saying, until then, we should all be using a lot

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mecca Cola
    As for then/than, and the others I agree without doubt that the standard and non-standard are clear and should always be obeyed...

    Agreed upon again

    And the "standard" in the case of the words "a lot", is "a lot"

    Where else on earth does the spelling of the words a lot exist as alot to mean "to a very great degree or extent" as a "standard"?

    And finally Habibi Akhee, I am still waiting for your answer about when egges was last used, according to you?





    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    His response...

    Quote:
    I never said that I disagree with words changing. I have always stated that I stand for using correct English when we are made aware of it and use it. That is all!
    Perhaps I didn't demonstrate how the views on language change relate to the use of 'alot'.

    The crux of the issue is exactly what makes any usage the 'standard' usage.
    There are many words and examples which to this day are considered standard but are ignored by 99% of people.
    At what point does a word go from being non-standard to standard? When did 'another' become right and 'an other' become wrong?
    There is no correct answer.
    Just in the case of alot, there is currently nobody who can rightfully say it is baseless and nobody who can rightfully say it is correct, it is still at the point where it is in transition from being obscure to becoming equally accepted. In a matter of decades it could go to becoming the standard for all we know.

    I'm sure you should understand what I mean now about language change and how it applies to words such as 'alot' where it is not according to some incorrect whereas to others it is.

    When was egges last used? No idea, again there is no clear answer. Was it once the standard? Sure it was, but not any more...


    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 33
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: His response...

    You may find the whole topic in the link provided in the link below:

    Our Spelling...

    Please note, what I am looking for is an answer to the question, is alot as the last post claims that the newly concocted and widespread usage of the word 'alot'
    there is currently nobody who can rightfully say it is baseless and nobody who can rightfully say it is correct
    ???

    Is this true?

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. alot of
    By nonEnglish in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 16-Apr-2007, 13:34
  2. uses
    By inouq in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 24-Sep-2006, 09:05
  3. A lot
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-Nov-2005, 12:38
  4. Alot of questions:-(
    By Latoof in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-Dec-2004, 12:52

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •