barmar, on 2012-May-31, 23:30, said:
I'm generally a good speller and grammarian, but that one has always given me trouble. For some reason it "feels" like a single word. I predict that it will make it into dictionaries in 20-30 years.
We all find some of these forms troubling. I cannot even recall seeing alot as one word, and I don't think I have ever said hopefully in my life. I always wonder who is hoping when I hear it. On the other hand, something like "The data are" rather than "The data is" seems wrong. Yes I know that it's one datum and two data but I suppose it is also one agendum and two agenda (the Online Dictionary recognizes agendum) but I can't recall anyone ever being corrected for for saying "The agenda for today is".
Mostly I learned my grammar by imitation of those around me. For a while, when I was in high school, I practiced saying ain't and tried to work at least one f*** or f***ing into every sentence, but I grew out of that. I think that now my sentences are usually fairly coherent and acceptable to most ears. Some listeners are fussier than other, I have noticed.