If alot and alright are words not found in ANY dictionary, then why do thousands of writers type these words into everything they write? Maybe it’s because no one ever told them NOT to spell those words that way, or perhaps, those writers were never reprimanded for their ignorance.
Ignorance isn’t truly bad, however, if you’ve never learned how to do something correctly. But you can kick ignorance to the curb once you’ve learned a few quick examples and reasons for doing something the right way.
A lot versus alot
Let’s look at the word alot. If you dined with friends at an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant, and you ate only one appetizer and one dessert, would you write about it, saying, “I ate alittle?” Of course not. A little is two words, not one word.
If you went to an arts festival but didn’t stay long, would you write, “I stayed for abit?” No, because abit is two words, not one word.
Therefore, for the same reasons, alot should be written as two words and not one word.
All right versus alright
Alright is not a word when you intend to say, “All right!”
According to the definition and references of the word alright, here’s what is posted worldwide at Wiktionary – https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/alright
The Oxford English Dictionary notes that, while analogous forms exist in words such as “already,” “altogether,” and “always,” “the contracted form is strongly criticized in the vast majority of usage guides, but without cogent reasons.”
The contracted term is considered nonstandard by Garner’s Modern American Usage and American Heritage Dictionary. Other dictionaries consider it incorrect or less correct than all right.
To help you remember how to spell this word, think of it this way: All right is two words. J
Two resources for improving your writing
Two more resources for helping you succeed with your writing are:
- Buy an online subscription to Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) Online Subscription. This is the absolute Bible for authors and publishers.
- Hire a professional editor through WordsRU. They ALWAYS (not all ways) get it right and will make your writing sparkle with correctness. (Like how I snuck that in there?)