Let’s talk about two words that often find themselves sharing the same real estate: a lot. Many, many (many) people think this is one word; I learned a long (along? NO!) time ago (ago? YES) that just because someone does something, it doesn’t mean you are to do it, too (see: cliff jumping, roof jumping. etc.). Such is the case of these two (yes, two) words. It is never, ever one word.
So, to get you to remember this fact, howsabout you think of it this way: you would never (ever) think a little is one word, right? As in: “Seven is alittle bit less than eight.” (Oh, so wrong it hurts.) So why would you make lot scrunch up with the indefinite article a? Didja run out of room or something? Do they look good together? It matters not, my friend.
Do a little favor for me and remember this a lot of times. OK?