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Alot vs. A lot: 9 Language Crimes to Watch Out For
irregardless
[ir-i-gahrd-lis]
Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements, ir- and -less. Irregardless first appeared in the early 20th century and was perhaps popularized by its use in a comic radio program from the 1930s. Use regardless to keep your grammar-loving friends at bay.
thusly
[thuhs-lee]
Because both thus and thusly are adverbs, language aficionados find thusly unnecessary. The Chicago Manual of Style discourages the use of thusly altogether. For copyeditors, spotting the word thusly has a cringe-inducing effect similar to hearing fingernails on a chalkboard.
everyday
[adj. ev-ree-dey]
Be careful when using everyday. As one word it's adjectival; spelled out as two words, every day is adverbial. If you remember to do your everyday chores every day, your grammar-savvy roommates will appreciate you.
anyways
[en-ee-weyz]
While it's commonly used in speech and writing, anyways is nonstandard. Always drop the "s" and opt for the standard anyway to impress the language fanatics in your social networks. In a world of 140-letter tweets, that one saved character is valuable real estate.
literally
[lit-er-uh-lee]
The Internet is literally full of critics of the figurative use of literally. While employing this metaphorical usage might make many casual language lovers' ears bleed, descriptivist lexicographers will hail you as a language innovator. Our advice: be self-aware. Know that if you use literally figuratively, it will sound horrible to some, and perfectly acceptable to others.
alot
[uh lot]
Alot is a frequent misspelling of a lot. As many middle school English teachers constantly remind their students, "A lot is a lot of words." So make your old English teacher proud.
alright
[awl-rahyt]
As an informal variant of all right, alright is perfectly acceptable. The popular song and album "The Kids Are Alright" by The Who is evidence of general acceptance of alright. However, note that the creators of the 2010 film The Kids are All Right couldn't bring themselves to use the informal variant even if the title was a clear nod to The Who.
fewer
[fyoo-er]
Confusion of the terms fewer and less will set off alarms in the heads of language enthusiasts. Fewer is only to be used when discussing countable things, while less is generally used for singular mass nouns. For example, you can have less salt, money, honesty, or love, but fewer ingredients, dollars, people, or puppies.
hopefully
[hohp-fuh-lee]
Self-described language buffs might explode with untamed rage if they hear hopefully used as a sentence modifier as in "Hopefully, it won't rain tomorrow." However, since the 1930s, this sense has been folded into acceptable usage. That said, it's important to understand the extreme reaction you might provoke if you use this common sentence starter. If someone gives you guff, just refer them to Dictionary.com's excellent usage note at hopefully. Crisis averted.

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