Is Alright All Right?

This one is a personal pet peeve of mine. I see people use alright all the time. Technically, it is not a word. It is a misspelling of all right. Every time I see it I want to scratch it out and write it correctly.

For language geeks like me, it is with great trepidation that I learned that alright is mildly acceptable in British English along the fringes. Eeek. Thank you to Grammar Girl for enlightening me on this one. According to her site, the American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style says it is unacceptable in one place, yet in another states that it means satisfactory. Huh? Looks like we’re in for a gradual change here in America, too… though I don’t have to like it.

5 thoughts on “Is Alright All Right?”

  1. I love how language evolves and develops. I guess I take a different approach to language, but I guess that’s because of my background. I’m a speech language pathologist. The grammar errors I work with are so severe that I get excited to hear one of my students use the word “alright”. In fact, for some of my kids I get excited if their talking at all.

    However, I have my fair share of grammar pet peeves. If I hear my wife say bath instead of bathe as a verb one more time I swear I’m going to scream.

    Don’t ever tell her I said that. I’ll just deny it if you do.

  2. I use “alright” in dialogue. In my head there’s a difference between the formal assertion that everything is all right, and the way we say to each other, “no, it’s OK, I’m alright.”

    I did look it up before I used it in a public work for the first time, to make sure it was at least becoming OK.

    (Which puts me on the OK/okay tangent, but that’s another discussion.)

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