Is "Alot" a Word?

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Q: Why are so many people using “alot” instead of “a lot”? There’s no such word as “alot,” right? I can't find any source that says it's an acceptable word, yet it’s in constant use. Can you help me? —Lynn B.

A: You are correct: “alot” is not a legitimate word in the English language and has no place in sentences, paragraphs or advertisements on the side of buses (I've seen this twice!). So my answer is: I have no idea why so many people use it. They must be crazy.

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