Which is Correct?
Is it all right to use “alright”? We’d say so, with a few qualifications:
- Both “alright” and “all right” are words.
- “All right” is considered more correct in that it is the preferred form, especially if you’re writing.
- If you are writing for business or a professor, stick with “all right.” If you aren’t, it’s all right to use “alright.”
Some people believe these words have slightly different meanings. For example:
Q: Were the directions all right?
A: Yes, all of them were correct. Not a single one was wrong.
Q: Were the directions alright?
A: They weren’t specific enough to my taste, but it’s okay.
We’d argue that the implied meaning of “all right” in the first example includes the meaning of “alright” in the second example, so the split use isn’t necessary.
Then there’s the similar but jauntier version “all righty.” Besides the fact that this is only used as an adverb, while the other two can be used as adverbs or adjectives, there’s no real difference in meaning.
To sum up:
- Use “all right” when you’re impressing people.
- Use “alright” when you’re wearing sweatpants.
- Reserve “all righty” for when you’re being sarcastic or cute or you’re extremely excited.