Tighten writing by cutting begin fallacy
Select different fonts for paperback, ebook

Get it right, all right vs. alright

During my 12510294_10153176572840216_7209467433509702677_nedits of novels, nonfiction books, academic papers and business documents, I frequently see the same pairs of words confused. Among them is all right and alright.

While alright increasingly appears in writing, most grammarians would agree that alright is all wrong. Alright generally is considered nonstandard, and its use probably arises from the notion that all right/alright follows similar rules to “all ready/already” or “all together/altogether.”

The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style (7), does list alright as okay to use when it means “satisfactory,” indicating that all right means “accurate.” Hmm … Sure, satisfactory and accurate have different definitions, but what’s the difference between if you write, “The cost estimates are satisfactory” or the “The cost estimates are accurate”? To be alright (satisfactory), the cost estimates would have to be all right (accurate). Or why not just write “The cost estimates are satisfactory” rather than “The cost estimates are alright” if you want to indicate they are not excellent … “satisfactory” certainly would be more specific (or accurate!).

Or would saying they’re satisfactory be alright?

Final verdict: Always use all right, never use alright.

Need an editor? Having your book, business document or academic paper proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. Whether you come from a big city like Atlanta, Georgia, or a small town like Atlanta, Idaho, I can provide that second eye.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)