I don’t even know where to begin when discussing the debate between the words “all right” and the colloquialism “alright.” I’ve discussed this several different times, in the classroom, online, and in conversation with my friends.
It has always been my opinion that “alright” is not a word fit for publication.
I prefer to go by the guidelines put out by the Associated Press. I love my AP Stylebook dearly, and use it as my authority. (I plan to examine other styles later on.)
Here is the AP Stylebook’s entry on “all right”:
all right (adv.) Never alright. Hyphenate only if used colloquially as a compound modifier: He is an all-right guy.
That is beautiful.
It’s true that “alright” is commonly used these days, especially amongst the IM generation, but never in professional publications.
And now it’s time to prepare for a debate.
Don’t start debating now; don’t do anything yet. I want both sides to take the time to prepare. I’m going to consult journalism experts. I expect to prove that “all right” is the only acceptable term to use in publication.
In the meantime, do your own research. Try to prove me wrong. I need reasons that are as GOOD as they are accurate — just because it’s in the dictionary, Andy, that doesn’t mean it’s enough to be acceptable in publication!
Let’s see what we have.