Summer 2008 Grammar Articles

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A lot of All Right

             By Rocky Reichman, The Totalitarian Grammarian


      Is alright all right? Do you say alot or a lot?

      Everyday, words are being combined for clarity and brevity. The most famous contractions are do and not to make don’t, and can and not to make can’t. But we’re not concerned with those words. They’re fine. The Grammarnator isn’t targeting them. Contractions are all right (or is it alright?), but it is important to note that there is a difference between words that are real contractions and words that have merely been mushed together for brevity. These are words like alright and all right, alot and a lot. People change these words everyday. Writers misspel them. Speakers prounounce them as if they’re one word.

      But they’re not. They’re as separate as apples and oranges. (Cliché alert!)

      Words like all right and a lot are being misspelled. Check your local grammar book if you don’t believe me. Correct grammar dictates that all right and a lot are two words, not one. So all right should be written like all right, not alright. And it would be incorrect to write alot. Use a lot instead. Drop w word like atleast and replace it with at least. (For the grammatically-challenged out there, use spell check if you must).

      Never combine words just to make them shorter. But always feel free to use words that are meant to be combined. Don’t and can’t are perfectly alright (I mean all right) in most grammarians’ books.

      There’s a lot more grammar to talk about. But at least for now, I think you will be all right.



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