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Department of English Grammar

Grammar bosses for Gen tl;dr

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What’s up with “alot,” “allot,” and “a lot”?

If we got a dollar every time someone used “alot” instead of “a lot,” we’d be able to buy Tumblr.

Here’s the rundown on alot, allot, and a lot.

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If you’re a fan of comics, you should definitely check out Allie Brosh’s blog.

As far as allot and a lot are concerned, here is the tl;dr answer:

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Although we have not gone over our allotted space, we think we’ve said a lot, so with a recap (featuring Alot), we bid you adieu.

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What’s up with … the ellipsis?

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As an introduction, the “dot-dot-dot” ( … ) is known as an ellipsis. It is used primarily

  1. to omit certain words or phrases from a quotation or citation
  2. to indicate a pause or break in the writer’s train of thought

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If you are using the ellipsis to omit words from the original sentence, make sure that the words you take out don’t change the meaning of the original sentence.

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In the following, we can see that in the correct usage, the original meaning of the sentence remains intact, whereas in the incorrect usage, the original meaning has warped into something sinister and pervy.

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When it comes to using an ellipsis to indicate a pause or break in the writer’s thought, just don’t overdo it:

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  • Click HERE for an excellent post on the ellipsis, including how to use them in formal writing (e.g., in citing quotations).
  • The plural of “ellipsis” is ellipses.
  • If an ellipsis ends a sentence, you put an extra period at the end, i.e., four periods.
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