Is “alright” all right?
In 1965, The Who told us “The Kids are Alright,” spawning generations of the use of alright in music.
In 2004, The Killers said “Everything Will be Alright,” Jennifer Lopez was “Gonna Be Alright” in 2002, and Janet Jackson said it was “alright with me” in 1989. The examples go on and on, leaving us to wonder if, in fact, “alright” is all right.
Scholars and grammarians are constantly debating the question of alright vs. all right. In common usage, all right is a synonym for okay or satisfactory, as in “Are you all right?” However, it can also mean “all correct”, as in, “My answers on the test were all right.”
In some circles, alright has become an accepted usage interchangeable with most uses of all right, particularly in dialogue:
Rob, do you want to come to the party with me?
Generally, most editors and teachers don’t think “alright” is all right. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to stick with the more widely accepted two-word “all right,” especially in formal academic or professional writing.
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