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Reject incorrect word contractions

by: Garry Pierrepont (29 July 2014)

Something popped up on Facebook the other day from one of us 'grammar police'. It was commenting on the incorrect use of the non-word 'alot' (ha! That was just auto-corrected to 'a lot' by MS Word as I typed it!). Of course it should be 'a lot'.

Whereas some word contractions evolve over time and become acceptable (e.g. good bye, became good-bye, which became goodbye over many years), there is no excuse for contracting the indefinite article (a) into the word that follows it. Would we accept atable, abook, apileoftripe? No.

Someone queried the use of words like sobeit, insofar, nevertheless. The latter two have become acceptable contractions. Not so for sobeit (unlike albeit which is okay). I said sobeit looks rather like a German word, and we certainly donít want to go the way of German and combine several words into extremely long single words.

I know language evolves, but alot is simply not a word, and let's keep it that way.

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Ref: 94 it's the same with hyphenated words too. When to use and when not to use hyphens is a tricky one. Eg it should be the "the heavy-breathing man" rather than the "heavy breathing man" as the "heavy" refers to the breathing rather than the man. He's not a heavy man who breathes...
Romany - 15:56 29-07-2014

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