Do you think ‘alright’ is all right to write?

Its use is widespread, but many find the usage unacceptable.

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.

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