I am an avowed grammar and spelling geek. I will rework a sentence in my mind until I iron away a dangling participle. I will correct myself via text or IM if I accidentally use the wrong version of the “to/two/too” triumvirate (and then feel a deep and nagging shame at the mistake).
When it comes to writing, I like to play by the rules. I take pride in it.
Except when it comes to alright.
Language snobs agree that using “alright” is akin to eating with your hands in a fancy restaurant. But anyone who has ever watched a tortured attempt to carve a chicken drumstick with a knife and fork knows… you just pick the damn thing up. That’s how I feel about alright.
No, “all right,” which it supposedly stands for, just won’t do in some situations. “All right” has a crisp, military precision, the reporting of the status of things. “Alright,” which, in the right speaker, rolls out closer to “awwright,” has a slouchy goodness that can’t be conveyed by its two-word predecessor. Alright soothes and agrees. Alright acquiesces and capitulates. Alright makes everything… alright. Far more versatile than its stuffy parent, sometimes nothing else will do.
So, yes, I may get the shocked looks of my fellow grammarians, the downward-cast eyes that I’m being a little barbarous and uncouth when I use it. And that’s alright.