The Proliferation of a Virtual Species: You'll Like This Alot

Allie Brosh
Allie Brosh / Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh created the lovable creature we know as the alot, in order to cope with the very common mistake of making "a lot" into one word.

But there is one grammatical mistake that I particularly enjoy encountering.  It has become almost fun for me to come across people who take the phrase "a lot" and condense it down into one word, because when someone says "alot," this is what I imagine:

The world of the internet has seen the genesis of many fabulous creatures, but the alot has managed to successfully breed and proliferate across the virtual landscape better than most. It was introduced on April 13th, 2010. By April 18th, it had its own definition at Urban Dictionary. I believe there are two main reasons for the alot's success.

1. The grammatical phenomenon of making "a lot" into one word strikes a chord with many internet users. This habit is common among English speakers, but is only obvious when typed. Therefore, the annoyance it brings flourishes naturally on the web, where the literate and semi-literate live side-by-side.

2. This creature is so ugly that it's cute. Folks love that. Alot.

It wasn't long before the t-shirts began to sell like hot cakes. And Brosch's fans embraced the creature. Alot.

Isolde Honore made a hat alot. Such a clever disguise!

Seattle artist WednesdayWolf painted the Alot, and you can buy a print at Etsy.

Ravelry is a forum for knitters and crocheters. A subgroup on the forum called Knit Knack held a competition last May to recreate the alot. Ravelry is limited to members, but evidence of the project can be found elsewhere because the entries are so cute!

The winner was Maiya Mayhem, who named her creation Alot of Fun. See more pictures at her website.

Shanny, who organized the competition, made a needle felted alot.

Senor Mysterioso crocheted this fetching alot.

Mary pointed out that chickens eat alot.

Alot of Pink Saphire was part of a different Ravelry project, the Gringotts Wizarding Bank Heist. It's enough to make me want to pull the yarn out of storage just so I can join this forum!

By June, people were baking alot. This alot cupcake was photographed by James Michael Heywood.

Arlyn Bantog posted her version in July.

In September, Travis Byrnes bought alot of Spam. With apologies to Monty Python, it's a "spam alot".

In October, DeviantART member loveandasandwich showed us her version of the alot, made by hand with lots of fur.

Alix was requested to make an alot by a friend, and came through with this awesome plush toy. See more pictures at her site Arixystix.

People began to spot the creature in the wild. This photo was submitted to Hyperbole and a Half's Facebook page by Giovanna Alexis Urbina Anderson.

The creature was enshrined on The University of Waikato's high-performance computing cluster called Symphony, seen here posing with Jessica Thompson.

Klara just began embroidering in late 2010, and she likes to embroider alot. She said as much in her stitching!

Reddit member Shynee made this one as a Christmas gift for a friend. She drew the pattern out on a piece of wrapping paper and cut up a half of a yard of fur. Fellow Redditor Allie Brosh dropped in to convey her approval.

Irina-Gabriela Rus received this handmade ornament as a gift. It adds alot to a Christmas tree!

The very few people who received handmade alots for Christmas can consider themselves to be appreciated. Alot. However virtual, the alot is in no danger of becoming an endangered species.