"Alright" or "All right.' - Page 2


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Thread: "Alright" or "All right.'

  1. #11
    I read somewhere on the word Chortling to have been a combination of chuckling and snort, coined by a guy in his novel in 1871. I see no problem making up words because I always swear that's how they sounded like to me in some distant memory in my mind, swearing that it was a word. I'm going to make They're'nt big.
    "When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand." - Raymond Chandler

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Gyarachu View Post
    Could you expand on what you mean by "technically" and "legitimate?"

    All words are made up. There is no end-all authority on what is and isn't a word. We may appeal to dictionaries and respected institutions, but we are under no obligation to accept their judgments as final. They are human institutions, and if they have any authority it is only because people have decided to listen to them.

    Of course, when we write we want to be understood. Thus, it would be in our best interest to use words that are commonly understood. However, I don't think you will find many people who won't understand what you mean by "alright." That being said, you also need to be smart and know your audience, and realize that there will be those who adhere to certain standards for whatever reason.

    Anything can be a word. I can string together some letters, say they mean something, and it is no less a word than "the" is. The only difference is the number of people who recognize it.
    You're getting into Theory now, which is an entirely different ballpark -- signs, signifiers, and all that. This question is merely related to writing mechanics, of which I refer to the OED and Elements of Style. Of course, I'm more than willing to chat about Derrida and Saussure in a more appropriate forum for the topic.

  3. #13
    Countless critics and pedants besmirch 'created' words as obscene and laughable. Remorselessly they rant with deafening savagery at any hint of compromise. Lackluster or flawed word usage is torture to the cold-blooded and dauntless excitement aroused in them by any hint of dwindling standards.

    The words in blue above were all coined by William Shakespeare. Writers do metamorphize the language, but, as with the 1,700 words invented by The Bard, it should be done with intent and not just because it's easier, or we can't be bothered to use words correctly.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


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    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

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  4. #14
    WF Veteran Gyarachu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.T. Chris View Post
    You're getting into Theory now, which is an entirely different ballpark -- signs, signifiers, and all that. This question is merely related to writing mechanics, of which I refer to the OED and Elements of Style. Of course, I'm more than willing to chat about Derrida and Saussure in a more appropriate forum for the topic.
    I really have no idea what you just said. My point is that there is no objective standard to measure what is and isn't a word. You can choose to use whatever resource you wish, but none of them have any sort of inherent, "God-given" authority on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Writers do metamorphize the language, but, as with the 1,700 words invented by The Bard, it should be done with intent and not just because it's easier,
    Why? Why not do it because it is easier? Can you give any objective reason that says it is wrong to do so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    or we can't be bothered to use words correctly.
    What standard are you measuring "correctly" against? Can you give an objective one? Who has the authority to decide what is and isn't correct?

    This sounds more like personal preference than anything else, which I have no problem with whatsoever. But to say anything else is "wrong" is ridiculous.
    "Fantasy is the literature of hope. In fantasy there is a belief that you can make a difference. Today may be bleak, but you can live through today. And tomorrow will be better. And maybe there'll be a different darkness tomorrow, but you can live through that, too, and you can make the light come, and the darkness go away. It doesn't matter how many times the darkness comes. There is always hope for something better." ~Robert Jordan

    "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." ~C.S. Lewis

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Gyarachu View Post
    I really have no idea what you just said. My point is that there is no objective standard to measure what is and isn't a word. You can choose to use whatever resource you wish, but none of them have any sort of inherent, "God-given" authority on the matter.
    Your point is well-noted, as it has been discussed and theorized again and again by linguists such as Saussure and Derrida is what I'm saying. You are bringing the advent of Signs into a discussion that isn't related to theory at all. Your point is related to an entirely different discussion, better suited for the branch of Linguistics, not spelling. It has nothing to do with the question of using "Alright" or "all right."

    It's one thing if the OP asked whether or not he could coin a new term, but he asked whether or not the word is spelled "Alright" or "all right." It really doesn't have to be more complicated than that. If you want to rebel against the status quo and spell words however you want, then go for it.

  6. #16
    WF Veteran Gyarachu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.T. Chris View Post
    Your point is related to an entirely different discussion, better suited for the branch of Linguistics, not spelling. It has nothing to do with the question of using "Alright" or "all right."
    I'm sorry, but that simply isn't true. It is absolutely relevant. The OP asked which of the two is correct. My answer is that either can be used, as there is no objectively incorrect. My advice is that if you want your writing to be understood, it is obviously best to use language that is commonly understood. In this case, no one is going to have difficulty comprehending "alright," therefore you are free to use either.

    My other bit of advice was to know your audience, and know that there are those who find "alright" unacceptable. I personally do not see any reason to reject the word, but if people don't like it, then they don't like it, and it is your choice whether or not to cater to them.

    I fail to see how this is irrelevant.
    "Fantasy is the literature of hope. In fantasy there is a belief that you can make a difference. Today may be bleak, but you can live through today. And tomorrow will be better. And maybe there'll be a different darkness tomorrow, but you can live through that, too, and you can make the light come, and the darkness go away. It doesn't matter how many times the darkness comes. There is always hope for something better." ~Robert Jordan

    "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." ~C.S. Lewis

  7. #17
    It is irrelevant because you are offering terrible advice. The word is spelled "all right." It's not spelled "alright." It's like telling the OP to spell "Cookie" as "Kookie." I don't understand why you are trying to make this so complicated.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Gyarachu View Post
    Why? Why not do it because it is easier? Can you give any objective reason that says it is wrong to do so?
    Because doing anything, in any craft, just because it is easier usually leads to sloppiness. Using a belt sander on a cabinet is easier than hand sanding, but the difference in the result is obvious.

    What standard are you measuring "correctly" against? Can you give an objective one? Who has the authority to decide what is and isn't correct?

    This sounds more like personal preference than anything else, which I have no problem with whatsoever. But to say anything else is "wrong" is ridiculous.
    By 'correctly' I mean commonly accepted usage. Just like breaking any of the so-called 'rules' of fiction writing, or using creative SPaG, the choice should be made with a plan. Otherwise it is nothing more than laziness.

    I never used the word "wrong", I simply gave my opinion. I don't give a rat's rump about 'objective' standards. I don't write from an objective perspective. My writing philosophy, and my opinions about writing, are mine alone based on 40 years of experience and study. I feel no need to defend them 'objectively'.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Gyarachu View Post
    I'm sorry, but that simply isn't true. It is absolutely relevant. The OP asked which of the two is correct. My answer is that either can be used, as there is no objectively incorrect. My advice is that if you want your writing to be understood, it is obviously best to use language that is commonly understood. In this case, no one is going to have difficulty comprehending "alright," therefore you are free to use either.
    Try telling that to an English professor, after handing in your thesis, and see where it gets you.

    'Alright' is not an accepted word in the English language. One day it may become so, but until that day I suggest you use the proper 'all right'.
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  10. #20
    WF Veteran Gyarachu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.T. Chris View Post
    It is irrelevant because you are offering terrible advice. The word is spelled "all right." It's not spelled "alright." It's like telling the OP to spell "Cookie" as "Cooky." I don't understand why you are trying to make this so complicated.
    How is it terrible advice? Twice now I have said it is best to use words/spelling that are suited to your audience. If you are writing to an audience that doesn't care, there is nothing wrong with using "alright." If you are trying to get published, it would obviously be best to use "all right."

    Once again I must ask, can you point to an absolute authority that says it is spelled "all right?" Anything you can point to does not have any kind of "God-given" authority. I am not talking of wild theories here. It is a fact. there is no absolute authority that says it must always be spelled a specific way.

    As for your cooky example, I would say this. (Now, do not selectively read my posts. Read ALL of what I have to say.)

    I will restate yet again: write in a way that your audience would want to read it. If you write "cooky" people are probably going to raise eyebrows, and if it is consistent your chances of getting published probably aren't great.

    However, if you feel like writing a book in which "cookie" is always spelled "cooky," there is nothing wrong with that. Heck, you can remake every word you use. There is nothing objectively wrong with that. (This is where I want you to not selectively read) BUT, obviously you aren't going to have much of an audience. The thing is, if you are okay with that, and that is what you want to do, then you aren't doing anything wrong. You are just writing in a way that is not as easily understood. There is no absolute standard against which you can call it wrong. That is simply factual.

    I am not trying to make things difficult, I am stating what I see as truth. Since there is no absolute correct way to spell it, you are free to spell it however you want. However, you need to be aware there there are those who will not understand/accept it any other way.
    "Fantasy is the literature of hope. In fantasy there is a belief that you can make a difference. Today may be bleak, but you can live through today. And tomorrow will be better. And maybe there'll be a different darkness tomorrow, but you can live through that, too, and you can make the light come, and the darkness go away. It doesn't matter how many times the darkness comes. There is always hope for something better." ~Robert Jordan

    "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." ~C.S. Lewis

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