Sunday, April 19, 2009

More on "Alright"

As I commented below this used to really bug me, but then I found myself using it in informal corresponce -- never in professional correspondence! -- quite often. This is a link to an interesting history of the words "all right" and "alright", and there is more out there. When I have time I'll consult my Fowler's and see what it says. Check out this site in the meantime: The Maven's Word of the Day. And in the meantime use the rule "If in doubt, don't", and don't use it if you think the person you're writing to or for is going to hate it! lol See the distinction below:
Quoted from the above site:
While in general, alright can be found in all the senses of all right, in
practice there can be a real semantic distinction between the two, because the
two word form all right can mean 'all correct' or something like that, while
alright can only mean 'good; safe; healthy', etc. when used as an adjective.
(Similar distinctions are found with already and all ready, though these forms
have diverged to the point where they are not interchangable at all.) Thus the
sentence "The Kids Aren't All Right" can mean 'not all the kids are right', or
'some of the kids are wrong', while "The Kids Aren't Alright" can only mean 'the
kids are not OK'. from http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=19990604

5 comments:

Beth said...

I was also reading about the various "anywords" that have morphed into one word, e.g., any way, any how, any one, etc. Perhaps all right will eventually morph into alright and be completely acceptable.

B.

Just Bill said...

I now knowe maore about penguines that I need to know.
Alright, Bill

Kaio said...

Hi Lori,
Oh my God you've got so many blogs!
How do you find time to post in all of them?
Even more: how do you find time to sleep?
Kisses from London
Kaio
www.meltingduvets.blogspot.com

SILVER said...

very informative for me!! i do google for difference between 2 words commonly used but which one IS the right one to use??

"Alright or All right " had been one of them, yes. Happy to see them here!

Rick said...

Your instructions were all right, alright.