WARNING: You will get an aneurysm if you read this post.
There was a great post from Pimp My Novel about "An Incomplete Education" where everyday grammar mistakes are turned into comics. We are all guilty of abusing these classics and the comic visualization just helps us nail the concept home.
I'm have a slight problem with the logical explanation here:
Yes, "alot" is NOT a word. According to the logic above you would not write "alittle, abunch, acantaloupe, aprokchop" etc. Fair enough but what about these words, words that seem to have the same meaning together as they do a part: cannot, without, within, and maybe? Did they once have a life of their own and through pour pronunciation they were forced into an eternity of marriage?
Now let's take the same "a lot" logic and apply it to "cannot," the opposite occurs here. Should we start using "willnot," "couldnot," "wantnot,"cantaloupenot," "porchopnot?" Okay, I got a little ridiculous but you see what I mean? Maybenot?
All this lead me to do extensive research on cannot vs can not. (Simplest explanation here.) Though there are several points that are highly debatable: whether either is universal, if not what they mean, is it for emphatic purposes, blah, blah, blah, the overall consensus is: if it is impossible then it's "cannot" (i.e.I cannot go back in time.) and if you can but are simply not going to then it is "can not." This seems like a silly/weak explanation to me. Wouldn't "can not" work for either scenario? (Is that a legitimate sentence in green. I bet I broke 10 different grammar laws there. Oy!)
And there's more...
"Cannot" has been in the language as one word for hundreds of years. Did someone come up with this explanation to blow smoke up the proverbial butts of the ancient literary gods? Maybe they were wrong? Or they may be right. Apparently it's all debatable. According to the "cannot" vs. "can not" proper usage, if it "is not" possible should I use "isnot?" (i.e. It isnot possible to travel in time.) J
I'm not even going to touch my other examples (without, within, maybe.) Don't shoot me for draining your brain on Monday. Like I said, my tiny pet peeve turned into an aneurysm.
Here are some more head scratchers: maybe vs. may be, apart vs a part, overall vs. over all, everyday vs every day, into vs in to...