Usage Wars: "All Right" or "Alright"?

Is alright a word? If so, how does it differ from all right?

Consider the sentence The food was alright.

To me, alright is not only perfectly cromulent, it’s the preferred form. I mean, who writes all ready or all though?

Of course, if we’re discussing how many answers someone got correct on a test, we’d say The students got the answers all right, just as we’d say The students were all ready for the test if everyone was prepared.

My go-to defense of alright as separate from all right refers to a terminally ill little kid who is in no immediate danger. She may be alright at the moment, but she is most certainly not all right.

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“Non-standard form of all right” says https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/alright

My pet peeve in English is people who mix lose and loose.
If you let your parrot loose it may fly away and you lose it.
lose - lost - lost. No-one writes “loost”, I presume.

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Maybe… sometimes. But mostly I agree with @SepiaAndDust, that (at least in American English) there is a significant difference in usage between the two.

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Whoa, what? Since when is “alright” nonstandard?

I’m wondering if this is another US/UK difference. I’m American, and “all right” as an adverb definitely looks wrong to me.

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Merriam Webster gives says that alright is all right, yes. So obviously it’s American usage.
I’m just quoting dictionaries. :slightly_smiling_face:
As English is not my mother tongue, and the longest time I’ve spent in an English-speaking country is one month, I definitely cannot have an “ear” for English.
Though I sometimes know spelling better than natives - as the English words for me are principally written strings of letters, not what they sound. So “sieze” instead of “seize” hits me immediately. And the like.

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Chicago Manual of Style.

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I see what you did there…

But I’m okay with that.

waits for it

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I only use “all right”. Not sure why. Maybe because I don’t like “alright”? Not sure. I’m American, so once again I’m not doing the common American usage. :stuck_out_tongue:

But I agree with @SepiaAndDust. I’m fine with reading “alright” when other people write it, as long as someone doesn’t try to do The students got the answers alright, as that sounds like it should have a comma before the word and be said very sarcastically.

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“already” and “all ready” mean different things. I don’t think “all though” means anything at all? And “all right” doesn’t always mean the same thing “alright” does.

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I use “all right”. “Alright” just looks wrong to me.

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“All right” is the acceptable term with grammar gurus. It should also be used because it gets a writer a higher word count, eh?

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So is not using contractions, but that would just make my writing look silly.

Yes. But consider that “all right” is not a matter of slang or sound. It’s simply a matter of spelling.

Using it only for the sake of having two words instead of one, however, still counts as a “stupid word count trick”.

It’s not a stupid word count trick if it is also the correct usage.

I’m not sure how someone could be much more of a guru than Merriam-Webster, and they’re fine with alright.

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They’re fine with it because a bunch of people use it.

I mean, if a writer generally prefers to use “alright”, and they use “all right” solely for the sake of having two words instead of one, that’s a stupid word count trick.

(And whether or not it’s “correct” is entirely debatable, which is why there’s a debate at all.)

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Which is exactly what makes something acceptable or not. That’s all language ever takes into account–whether a bunch of people use it.

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I prefer two words because it is grammatically correct, not simply because it gets a higher word count. I mentioned the higher word count as a bonus. : )