A lot is where a house sits.
When my senior year English teacher in high school heard me say something like, “There are lots of things to do,” she told me in no uncertain terms, “A lot is where your house sits.” Somehow, I took that one-liner to heart, because I have abstained from using the word lot to describe an amount of anything.
People all over use that word to describe anything and everything. “There are lots of cars on the road today.” Or, “I have dealt with lots of PR people…”
Usually, I bite my tongue when I hear someone refer to a candybar having lots of calories. But I have found myself switching the word to “a host,” saying, “I’ve been learning a host of information about social networking.”
Sure, it’s a little more awkward and requires a bit more thought, but I am able to maintain my aversion to using “lot” unless I’m talking about a house or where someone sell used cars.
However, I have been assaulted by “lots” of people using the word, so I thought, “Maybe Mrs. Baker was wrong.” I went to my standby dictionary, Miriam Webster Online, and did a search for the definition of “lot.”
7: a considerable quantity or extent <a lot of money> <lots of friends>
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, third edition, also shows the seventh definition of “lot” as “a number of persons or things regarded as a group;”
Although it’s socially acceptable to talk about “lots of friends,” I think I will refrain from allowing myself to indulge in its use. I have a personal aversion to the word “lot,” but I won’t correct people for boasting lots of friends!
How ’bout it?