Stint and stent

These two words are used interchangeably and wrongly by too many people! We simply have to end the insanity today—and you can help! (Thank you—I feel better….)

A stint usually refers to a specific period of time dedicated to a specific action. For instance, “I did a stint as a hospital technician back in 2012.” Think “I did a stretch as…” or “I did a turn as a go-fer at that company when I was in college.” That’s a stint.

A stent, on the other hand (or in the other artery) is a mesh medical device for keeping bodily tubes open. They put stents in people who have blocked arteries to increase blood flow.

So unless someone gets shrunk down to Incredible Shrinking Man size and is implanted in someone’s artery for a temporary job, we can’t say that there’s a stint in there. If arterial health is the goal, that would be a stent.

Bottom line: Stints are what we have spent some time doing; stents go inside people.

A lot/allot/alot

A mistake here is always a matter of written grammar error, as all these sound the same when we speak.

Many things equals a lot of things—two words. There is no such word as alot. A and lot should always be written as two separate words.

(Then there’s allot. That means to assign or allocate or apportion something, or to give it as a share of something. For example, “Line up, and I will allot each of you your piece of cake.”

To repeat, don’t ever write alot. Ain’t no such word. : ). If you are referring to many things, it’s two words: a and lot.

Imply/Infer

Person A is talking to Person B. Person A says that Person B’s girlfriend has no personality, is only interested in Person B’s money and has negatively impacted Person B’s manners, wardrobe and personal cleanliness since knowing her.

Person A is implying (suggesting, indicating but not stating directly) that Person B might consider breaking up with his girlfriend.

If Person B hears the implication and gets the same idea, he is correctly inferring (deducing, concluding) what Person A is suggesting.

If you suggest a course of action or change of perspective without directly stating it, you are implying something. If someone picks up what you are implying, then they are inferring what you are saying.

And if Person B hears all these things that Person A is implying regarding his girlfriend and he infers that she’s great and he should continue dating her, then he is inferring incorrectly and is probably kind of stupid.