Re: Lion's Share - the ultimate usage guide

Subject: Re: Lion's Share - the ultimate usage guide
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 19:37:27 -0700

Suzanne Chiles wrote:

Could you please add 'alot' and even, I'm sad to say I've seen, 'allot' for
'a lot' to your list of horrors?

To be fair, "allot" for "a lot' is probably the result of over-reliance on a spell-checker.

For that matter, as an advocate of descriptive grammar, I can't resist pointing out that "a lot" was considered improper in living memory - yet apparently you don't consider anything wrong with it (nor should you, from my viewpoint).

That seems the major problem with prescriptive grammar: it's always fighting a rearguard action, and retreating step by step.

Not that mis-use of words can't be comical, whether it comes from trusting a spell-checker or ignorance. My favorites from my days of teaching first year university composition:

- "With the increased knowledge of DNA, you will soon be able to choose your own genealogy."

- (at the start of an essay about an article by Gloria Steinhem): "For centuries, women have been depressed by men."

For some reason, women who hear the second one say that there's nothing wrong with it. ;-)

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

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