The Merry Grammarian

Everything’s All Right (But Not Alright)

Here’s a short and sweet grammar lesson this week, tackling one of the more common errors I see in writing: the word alright.

Alright, also known as the one-word version of all right—is a word that is nearly guaranteed to make any grammarian cringe.

All right, as in, “Is everything all right?” is a two-word phrase. The word alrightis a word that some have adopted, likely taking their cues from altogether or already, but it’s grammatically incorrect.

You’ll see it used out there from time to time, like in Pete Townsend’s song “The Kids are Alright,” but it’s mostly used in informal writing (like blogs), or by writers who think alright is an acceptable form of all right(it’s not).

But if you want your work to look polished and professional, or if you’re writing a formal piece—like a manuscript, article, column, professional paper, etc—the correct usage is always all right.