Word Fact: Alright vs. All Right

allright, chalkboard

Are all right and alright interchangeable? All right has a range of meanings including “safe,” as in Are you all right? or “reliable; good,” as in That fellow is all right. As an adverb, it means “satisfactorily” as in His work is coming along all right, or “yes,” as in All right, I’ll go with you.

The form alright is a one-word spelling of the phrase all right. Alright is commonly used in written dialogue and informal writing, but all right is the only acceptable form in edited writing. Basically, it is not all right to use alright in place of all right in standard English.

The popular song “The Kids Are Alright” by The Who is evidence of popular acceptance of the informal alright. However, the creators of the 2010 film The Kids Are All Right couldn’t bring themselves to use the informal variant even if the title was a clear nod to The Who.

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