Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's Alwrong

Here's this morning's front page of the Huffington Post:

They're not big on subtlety with their headlines or images at HuffPo. And apparently, they're not big on observing standard spelling conventions. It's easy to find examples of alright around us, starting with The Who, and their "The Kids are Alright" song and movie--but Pete Townshend does a lot of things the rest of us are wise to avoid. Bill Bryson, in his Dictionary of Troublesome Words, notes that, while the truncated version shows up on occasion in respected publications, "English is a slow and fickle tongue, and alright continues to be looked on as illiterate and unacceptable, and consequently it ought never to appear in serious writing." The righteous among us, in other words, use all right.

Grammar Girl, a fine bloggist and podcaster who does actual research, finds that's pretty much the consensus--although she also finds a source who gives a good argument for a distinction between alright and all right. I won't reveal it here (I'm busy and tired--don't you hate that combination?), but it's all there in the preceding link.