Usage and Grammar

Q. I’ve gotten into an argument online with a person who said that The Chicago Manual of Style states that it is okay to use the word, “alot.” I find this hard to believe because, “alot” is not a word, but I was unable to confirm or deny this on your site. Furthermore, he seems to think that all spelling rules are flexible and a matter of personal style, and he again uses The Chicago Manual of Style to back his position up. Could you shed some insight onto this situation?

A. Tell your friend that CMOS says he is full of baloney, and if he doesn’t believe you, give him the URL for this page.