Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

All right or alright?

with 4 comments

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Is it all right to write ‘alright’? Disagreement reigns among grammarians. To be on the safe side, use ‘all right’ in formal writing.

‘Alright’ is perfectly OK in informal writing, unless you’re emailing a mate with grammar-related blood pressure issues.

The Oxford Dictionary of English says:

There is no logical reason for insisting on ‘all right’ as two words, when other single-word forms such as ‘altogether’ (and ‘already’) have long been accepted. Nevertheless, it is still considered by many people to be unacceptable in formal writing.

The difference between ‘altogether’ and ‘all together’

More commonly confused words

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4 Responses

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  1. “grammar-related blood pressure issues” is a good phrase! 😆

  2. Thanks, Vikas — glad it made you smile!

    Deborah

    29/11/2009 at 4:19 pm

  3. “There is no logical reason for insisting on ‘all right’ ”

    This is English – as legions of baffled foreigners have discovered, logic doesn’t always feature.

    Ron

    29/09/2010 at 11:22 am


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