Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between All Right and Alright

All Right vs Alright

Many people, not only grammarians stumble upon a confusing and ongoing debate about the usage of the words ‘all right’ and ‘alright.’ At first, the two may seem very similar because of their close spelling notations. However, carefully examining each word really tells you something more. And so, is it really all right to use alright?

Basically, many grammarian such as Bill Walsh, emphasized in his publications that the use of ‘alright’ is not really all right. In support to Walsh, many other writing style guides assert that ‘alright’ as a single word is not appropriate for use. In fact, it has been viewed as a misspelling of some sort to ‘all right’ which is the one that means permissible, satisfactory or adequate. For example, in the sentence ‘Her dancing was plainly all right’ the term is used to describe someone’s dancing as being satisfactory or okay. Using ‘alright’ in exchange of ‘all right’ for that particular sentence will really be wrong to many grammarians.

On the contrary, other experts of the English grammar like Brian Garner said that ‘alright’ may have started to gain acceptance in British English. However, the two word notation ‘all right’ has long been accepted as the standard unlike ‘alright’ which just sprouted more recently in spoken and written language. ‘Alright’ really never found firm ground to be hailed as a word standard.

An English rock band named The Who used ‘alright’ in their song ‘“ ‘The Kids are Alright.’ This later spawned to many generations of the usage of the term most especially across the music scene like Jennifer Lopez’s 2002 song ‘Gonna Be Alright’ and Janet Jackson’s 1989 hit ‘Alright With Me.’ Thus, ‘alright’ has become an acceptable word in exchange for ‘all right,’ at least for some. But this just shows that ‘alright’ is and has been used for the more informal type of writing.

Well, some of you may still get confused with regard to the usage of the two terms. Nonetheless, using either ‘all right’ or ‘alright’ may be okay today as evidenced by the widespread usage of ‘alright’ in many publications. Try searching ‘alright’ in the Internet and you’ll be surprised that it would return millions of results just like ‘all right.’ For safety reasons however, if you are writing formally then you might as well prefer the two word notation ‘all right’ as some may interpret the use of ‘alright’ as a misspelled word.

  1. ‘All right’ is the more standard notation that means acceptable, satisfactory or permissible to name a few while ‘alright’ is a newer term used in exchange of the former but has not been accepted as a standard.
  2. ‘All right’ is used in more formal writing while ‘alright’ is more widespread in informal writing.

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