You all probably know I have this huge pet peeve when people write 'alot' instead of 'a lot.' I wonder how they'd type out 'a whole lot.' Would they write it as 'awhole lot' or 'a wholelot,' or would they just combine everything into 'awholelot?' (geesh, you know how hard it is not to use the space bar in there?)
I once used to ask the question, "Would you write it as 'alittle?'" Apparently, a lot of people do!
Well, there's another set of words that are beginning to get combined more and more. Have you seen people writing 'atleast?' That's getting pretty popular.
Yes, I know that languages are very fluid, and change all the time. Remember my little post about conjugating German verbs? Well, Old and Middle English had verb conjugations, too. You still hear it from time to time. Especially when you add the 't' or 'st' to ends of verbs to be silly. Well, we really used to do that. 'Thou' used to be the personal form of 'you.' "Thou shalt..." Remember that? And we had all the modified forms to go with it, 'thy,' 'thine,' 'thee,' etc.
At this time, I don't think 'atleast' is acceptable. In time, it may be.
There is at least one word in the previous paragraphs that is accepted, but at one time may also have been two seperate words. What about 'instead?' If you think about it, it really should be 'in stead.' Stead is a noun the means lieu or place. We don't write, 'inlieu' or 'inplace.' We still have the spaces in there. And we still seperate everything when we add words... 'in his stead.' It's not really changing the meaning. That would just mean, 'in his place.'
One of the things you may have noticed is my use of punctuation. Question marks, periods, exclamation points, colons, semi-colons all belong on the inside of quotation marks, single and double, when the quote is ending a sentence, as well as commas when seperating items. You may notice that I don't follow this rule very carefully. But I do that on purpose because I feel it looks better and is easier to read if I put those punctuations outside the quotes. But, at least I know what the rule is supposed to be.