Thursday, 14 December 2017

Is it all right to use alright?

Is it all right to use alright?

Or is it another English/American thing.

American English prefers – all right.  British English accepts both – all right or alright

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (3/e, Houghton Mifflin, 1996) has this in its usage notes:

All right, usually pronounced as if it were a single word, probably should have followed the same orthographic development as already and altogether. But despite its use by a number of reputable authors, the spelling alright has never been accepted as a standard variant, and the writer who chooses to risk that spelling had best be confident that readers will acknowledge it as a token of wilful unconventionality rather than as a mark of ignorance.

Michael Swan, in Practical English Usage (2/e, Oxford University Press, 1995), says:

The standard spelling is all right. Alright is common, but many people consider it incorrect.

Brian A. Garner, in The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style (Oxford University Press, 2000), comments:

All right. So spelled. The one-word spelling (alright) has never been accepted as standard in American English.

4. The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage (Random House, 1999) states succinctly:
"all right (never alright)."

5. Ann Raimes, in Keys for Writers (Houghton Mifflin, 1996), says:

"Alright is nonstandard. All right is standard."

 The Collins COBUILD English Dictionary (HarperCollins, 1995):

Under “alright” - alright. See all right

Under “all right” - all right; also spelled alright

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