As most of you know, I am a retired English teacher. I love reading. I love corresponding. I never critique the e-mails or personal letters I receive to see if the grammar, tenses, and agreement are absolutely correct. I believe that would be rude. I have tried my hand at writing and found that I can do a passable job with blogs. However, I cannot keep a story going–filling in descriptions, plots, and dialogue–so I have decided to stay within my safety zone so far as writing is concerned and forget about writing the next great American novel. I have found that, while I don’t scrutinize my own incoming communications, I do get very upset when I see something in print that is a violation of rules that should be inviolate. My pet peeve is the spelling of the two words, “a lot,” as alot. I know that the discount grocery store, Save Alot, has helped reinforce this scourge but, when I see ALOT, it  is worse than chalk rubbing the wrong way on a black board. During the years that I was teaching, the first time each school year that I came across the taboo spelling I would write the letter A on the far left blackboard and the word LOT on the far right, with my ultimatum to the class being that the twain should never meet. I know “a lot” is pronounced as though it is one word, but it just ain’t. Give me a rest, folks, and make just this one correction.


About bobosbest

I am an 80-year-old retired English teacher whose writing goals are fulfilled by publishing these blogs. I have a wonderful married partner, Dimitris Tsitsiras, who is from Greece. Life is good and still an adventure.
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2 Responses to A——————————————————LOT

  1. Bill Martin says:

    I too graded a jillion term papers and essay questions, and the one that “is worse than chalk rubbing the wrong way on a black board” for me is singular-plural agreement (nouns, verbs). I remember with great gratitude my high school English teacher, Mr. Johnson; somehow grammar was fun! (Thom notice: no errors on “termpaper,” “highschool.” or “some how.”)

    But the one in daily speech that really gets me is subjective-objective case confusion, as in “Her and me went to the movies.” Yikes! I can barely keep my mouth shut!

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