By Sarah Binning

While organizing my “week ahead” blog schedule, I decided to check my e-mail. Although I already checked my e-mail approximately three times before 9 a.m. (at which time I sat down to work on this blog), I suddenly remembered I stashed some ideas in my inbox.

Last week, the same day I stumbled across the “Weird Al” grammar lessons, I also discovered a new blog: Hyperbole and a Half. While Allie’s blog isn’t dedicated to grammar, she has an engaging, humorous cartoon blog, which she illustrates herself. Allie’s style reminds me of the notes my friend Michelle would doodle and pass me in school. Maybe that’s why I enjoy reading it so much.

So what does Hyperbole and a Half have to do with I Spy Grammar?  A lot. No, really. That’s today’s topic: a lot. Notice how it is actually two words as opposed to one?

Alot is not in the dictionary. Don’t believe me? Just check here.

Allot (when spelled with two L’s) is one word, but it means something totally different from a lot.

Allot means “to distribute among.” Example: The professor allotted time for students to make up the exam on Friday.

A lot, on the other hand, is more of an informal phrase, which means “many.” Example: A lot of fans are predicted to watch the season finale of LOST (Sunday, May 23). LOST leaves me with a lot of questions.

In her blog “The Alot is better than you at everything” Allie discusses how she handles people who misuse “a lot.”

Her answer: “The Alot is an imaginary creature that I made up to help me deal with my compulsive need to correct other people’s grammar.”

Here are some illustrations to further her point:

"The Alot"

The Alot from Hyperbole and a Half

Image from Hyperbole and a Half

A special thanks goes to Allie for allowing me to use her drawings. Be sure to check out Hyperbole and a Half for more entertainment.