I know two things:

  1. I have many opinions
  2. I ask many questions

I almost used the term “a lot” instead of “many”. When I was a kid, if I chiseled out “a lot” in an essay, the teacher would ding me a point. We were not allowed to use the phrase “a lot”. This is an anecdote and a factual statement based on my specific life experience

Nowadays, it appears that the phrase “a lot” is acceptable and used by many people, including teachers. This is an observation.

Should we be using the term “a lot”? This is a question to ask what popular opinion is.

In the above statements, I commented on something in my life, made an observation, and asked a question…

I do this often. The great majority of my blogs follow this exact pattern:

  1. I read or experience something
  2. I get something out of the experience
  3. I ask a question based on my observation and thoughts

When I do these things, it means that I am in the middle of opinion making- I might be leaning towards one side or another, but I’m really still gathering info. In the case of “should a lot be an acceptable phrase” I really don’t have an opinion. I’m really just wondering why what was once taboo is now common. When did this change occur? How has it affected language? How has it affected communication, written or otherwise? Does it matter at all that “a lot” is used a lot?

I am interested in everything around me.

I question everything.

I question so that I can form an opinion.

I like to gather the thoughts of all sorts of people to see all the different sides and aspects to any given thing.

But….

Sometimes when I write a post, some people think I’m giving an opinion. They ask me why X is my opinion because it’s wrong…

Perhaps this means I’m not getting my point across, which would bruise the part of my ego that thinks it’s a writer, but it’s something to work on for the future…

or (because we are still trying to put a Band-Aid on my hurt ego)

Maybe people have become accustomed to all things written and spoken being opinions set in stone, and no longer understand that sometimes things are conversational, or fact finding, or just tossing ideas into the interweb thingy…

A few months ago I wrote about how I’m noticing that no one is recycling and single use item usage is on the upswing. One commenter told me that I should be recycling and the single use thing was wrong, etc…I told the commenter that I agreed- but my blog wasn’t about what “I was doing”… the blog was about what I saw happening in front of me, and I wondered if others were having the same experience.

Sometimes a post is not about right or wrong, but just a post…

Sometimes I just want to get the conversation started…

Off we go:

  1. What do you think about the phrase “a lot”?
  2. When you read or listen to something do you automatically think it’s an opinion?
  3. Do you enjoy thinking about whatever random topics float across my blog?
  4. Are you willing to pad my ego by saying what a good writer I am?

 

 

 

 

66 thoughts on “Just Asking

  1. I enjoy your style because it feels like you are open to discussion, not telling us what to think. When I write on Facebook, I am not trying to be pushy or judgey , I’m just sharing things I learn or thoughts I have, but it’s not always taken that way. Like once I posted something from a book called The Giver, a summary of the book’s plot, but someone asked if I agreed with those ideas. I thought it was clear from all the many posts I have written before about freedom that I do not agree with a society based on total control which uses euthanasia of old people and babies to create a perfect world. But my own cousin asked me if I agreed with that. I need to be more clear !

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think a lot of the time, people just read the words they want to read, not the words in entirety. They take out the words they want to, or their brain is telling them to, and make a comment. One of the reasons I dislike FB.

        Did you notice? I used the phrase a lot!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I must have had your teacher’s evil cousin.. “a lot” and “really” garnered instant “Fs” on a paper. Maybe that’s why I use both liberally these days..as an act of defiance! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In all honesty, I REALLY had A LOT of great teachers..most of them British. 😉 I would say they influenced me A LOT in that I came to embrace a very casual, conversational style of writing..much less formal than they taught. Honestly, I am triggered (ha!) by “elevated” writing where you can almost sense someone is not so much trying to communicate with a reader..but rather trying to impress.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I struggle using the phrase “a lot” and often opt not to use it. I’ve probably miss used it a time or two for the lack of trying to find a better word. “Get” is a word my teacher strongly detested. I enjoy reading your blog as many others. I am interested in what other people think. Some people are quick to judge rather than listen. Listening and good grammar are two skills that seem to be fading.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have no issues with the phrase “a lot”, because it’s what people use these days, and that’s how language works. People use a word or phrase a lot, and it eventually becomes standard.

    People definitely need to calm down about assuming everything is an opinion that must be agreed with if it’s “right” or shouted at if it’s “wrong”.

    I am perfectly happy to read about your random thoughts and observations.

    You are a wonderful writer. Keep writing, please. 🤓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Though I’m not jumping on the irregardless train yet…as for the opinion thing…it’s getting ridiculous….it’s to the point where you can’t have a conversation ….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have no problem with “a lot”. There are all sorts of examples of words either overused or misused. But I’m not sure it matters. And about your writing? It’s very conversational and typically makes me think. I don’t always have an opinion to share but know that it’s made an impression.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I typed a nice long thoughtful response. Poof! It disappeared. Short version: I try not to use “a lot” too much. I enjoy reading your blog. Your are very thoughtful. I enjoy learning what other people think. People are quick to form an opinion because people are not truly listening. Listening and grammar skills are fading.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s overt opinion and then there’s taking a block of words and really looking at the context of what and how they are written. If you see the words “I think” or “personally” or “I believe” or anything else that would denote a possessive approach to what is being presented I would take that as opinion… otherwise assume what is in front of you are statements not declarations. I also think some people simply want to provoke debate and/or divisiveness by argumentative approaches to anything they read. I think we call them trolls.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very good point. Some people just want to contradict others, no matter the subject. But you’re right, we need to look for the words that take it from statements to opinions.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. 1. What do you think about the phrase “a lot”? I use it a lot.

    2. When you read or listen to something do you automatically think it’s an opinion? No.

    3. Do you enjoy thinking about whatever random topics float across my blog? vv Absolutely.

    4. Are you willing to pad my ego by saying what a good writer I am? You’re the bomb and I bet you look amazing in an LBD with heels.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s funny that you brought up using ‘a lot’ because I’ve noticed myself using it and cringe, but I do it anyway. And yes, I’m a teacher. It’s not something I judge in the writing of other people, only myself. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Most of them read/listen what they want to read/listen and reply accordingly.
    We cannot make everyone see our point of view or make them understand that others are entitled to have opinions too. Also, when you say something, they come up with a lot of advice. (they know us better than we do🤷‍♀️)
    It’s better to ignore those who give us “suggestions” or tell us “how wrong we are”.
    Finally, it’s not about you. It’s about them.🙂
    I do not form an opinion as soon as I read or listen to something. We have to look at all the possible angles before coming to a conclusion, right?
    Reading your topics, I will be like, hey she has a point. Writing about random topics and making people think about it is a sign of a good writer.🙂 (Eg, this post and the one before and so on… )

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t remember my teacher having a problem with the phrase “a lot” but I remember she did not care for the term, “like”. I always thought that was a hard term to get around. My husband often edits my work and him being born to British parents has a bit of a different take on the English writing than I do. He often tells me my Iowan is showing when I write! I guess I write like I speak and that isn’t necessarily good!! I never noticed it before, but now I catch it often (notice I did not say a lot). I was told once by an English teacher at the U of I when I was there….many years ago…that we often speak and write like we learned sitting on our mama’s lap. I suppose there may be some truth in that. I’m not sure when certain terms or words became acceptable, especially in written language, but I do see more of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. One of my blogging peeves is when people interpret my writing as an opinion that needs changing. It generally means they didn’t understand the post but my writing is excellent, as is yours, so it’s definitely their mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sometimes my students have a lot of questions, so I looked up is it alot or a lot and I was directed by google that it is correct as a lot. So, I am answering a lot of questions sometimes face to face or video to video.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Nothing wrong with a lot, it says what it means and is easy to understand, I think some people read the words not the content, if read properly your blogs don’t sound like opinions, more like open questions asking for a response, I love the way you write, it’s like having a chat, (Can you tell what I used to get marked down for? yep the lack of full stops. Someone once asked me if I knew what a full stop was for, I told them to stop the words from falling over, this wasn’t my teacher, they frighten the life out of me).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t remember any problems with a lot, but maybe I’m just blanking on what I learned in high school English. I don’t really think of your posts as opinionated unless you state, “in my opinion.” Most of the time you are presenting both sides of the story and allowing us to form our own opinions. Keep doing what you’re doing. It sparks great conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think so many people say “in my opinion” to let people know that they are entering into a conversation where different opinions are occurring. I kind of appreciate this, it keeps me from flying off the handle( Not that I do that often). I do remember an English teacher of mine stating that a lot was not proper grammar and just plain lazy. I do try to not use it as much now.
    I consider your blog one that promotes and provokes something that good writers can do while others cannot.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I like the sound of real people talking; I think it makes for more memorable narration and dialogue. So there are a lot of old expressions and even sentence structures I am fine with that are frowned upon by others. With some limitations, I like regional expressions and wordways, and slang. To me there is no logic in the idea that some are acceptable and some aren’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It depends on where I’m listening/speaking…friends I like the shorthand that friends develop. If I’m listening to a speech, I want to hear the correct usage of words…but that’s just me

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I meant to add earlier, I do love your writing!
        And I do believe in learning and using the standardized and “broadcast” forms for quite a number of situations like speeches as you note, for scientific writing, etc. But when I’m doing the writing I like to have fun with it …
        Wordpress may not be allowing me to ‘like’ your comment, I’ve had some trouble with that lately.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. I can honestly say I think you are a good writer. And I also think you do a very good job of letting us know when you are giving your opinion (and how can an opinion be wrong?”) and when you are reporting the facts as you understand them. We live in a world where people are offended by anyone who disagrees with them…but please don’t let them silence your voice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m tiring quickly of the people who tell you you’re opinion is wrong….luckily there’s still some who understand we are all allowed to think. FYI for some reason instead of luckily, autocorrect made the word lustily….that would have been an odd sentence if I didn’t catch it

      Liked by 1 person

  19. 1. In school we weren’t allowed to use the word “a lot” either and I had an English teacher who would ding your grade down for each use of the forbidden word! LOL
    2. Not necessarily, but I think it depends on how it’s written. Does that make sense?
    3. Yes, you posts are so fun to read!
    4. But of course you are an amazing writer! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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