Friday, July 30, 2004

The times I used "alright"? They were all right.

Just lately I've had a couple of people question the use of the "colloquialism" alright. But to me, "alright" and "all right" are two different things. The former means "satisfactory / not damaged / don't worry about it / in that case / very well then", and so on. The latter means "all elements are correct / no elements are on the left".

I really don't understand why this particular word is having such a rough go of getting established. Lots of words have been formed by dropping one of the L's from "all" and then cramming it together with another word, and nodding at the new special meaning. Why not this one? Why do so many people, for no good reason, seem to want to draw a line in the sand at this point—"This far! No further!"

After all, who objects to altogether, already, although, also, almost, or always? If people can tell the difference between "all ready" and "already" (The kids are all ready already, hon! Let's go!), or "all ways" and "always" (Always check all ways before you cross the street...), why not "all right" and "alright"?

I'm going to keep using alright, and the occasions I do will be, I can assure you, all right. Alright?


Anonymous said...

Alleft or all left?
And you say French is complex! Yeah rigth, at least in french we have a rule or and exception for everything and if we need more words we just steal them from you guys!
Maudits anglais sont toute "fucké" dans tête!
(Notice the judicious use of the engliscism "fucké")

Lone Primate said...

Alleft or allez à l'enfer? ;)
I'm told l'Acadamie Française recommends "fucquer" for these purposes. I suggest you amend your spelling! :)

Anonymous said...

Re: Alleft or allez à l'enfer? ;)
No No No... Fucquer would be too French a spelling!
In Québec, we like to distort our language as much as possible and then bitch that we are a distinct society!