The Kenny Loggins song “I’m Alright” from “Caddyshack” is stuck in my head as I write this. (It’s catchier than The Who’s “The Kids are Alright” or Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.”)
I tweeted about alright, which is considered nonstandard by most dictionaries and not a word at all according to many stalwart prescriptivists. I said:
“Alright” is common, but it’s a nonstandard spelling of “all right,” which prevails in formal writing. Stick with two words, all right?
That brought a defense of the word from one copy editor and an immediate counter from another. The ensuing discussion over two dozen tweets involving 10 people culminated with this tweet that I woke up to: “You will pry alright from my cold, dead hands. Not sooner.”
I had hoped to avoid that, of course, and, in fact, I accept that alright inevitably will earn its place between already and altogether. But if I find alright while editing someone’s copy, I will suggest it be changed to the accepted all right.