If used as a replace for “a lot” then yes, it is slang.
Technically yes. You should probably avoid using it in papers for school and such, but it’s so commonly used it’s not considered ungrammatical by most.
I would go so far to say avoid in entirely in formal papers. That said I currently can’t think of a time when one would use “a lot” in formal papers either, so perhaps it goes without saying.
The word lots, is an informal or common word first used in 1891 as in “I’m feeling lots better”. The word lot – has many meanings, such as:an object used as a counter to determine a question by chanceone’s fate a measured parcel of land a motion-picutre studio
alot is however slang – the correct useage is – a lot as in:I feel a lot better todaymeaning, much or very many, a large number
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