All right or alright?

Which is technically correct?

“She’s all right,” said James, thinking that she was actually seriously hot.

“She’s way more than alright.” Tom laughed. “You’re delusional.”

Bottom line—the preferred spelling is all right. Is there a logical reason for this? Absolutely not! The English language is constantly evolving and we have already and altogether in common usage and, informally, alright is everywhere. Oxford Dictionaries, Meriam-Webster, and Macquarie Dictionary all agree that alright is a legitimate spelling though not standard. Not yet anyway.

As a writer, do you love the spelling alright enough to lead the charge? If so, make sure your spelling of it is consistent throughout your manuscript, and let your copy editor and proof-reader know your spelling preference. (You can do this by requesting they add it to your style sheet.) If you want to stick to the standard, then all right is the way to go.

Here’s what the experts say on the subject:

Chicago Manual of Style, 5.250, good versus common usage, “Avoid alright, which has long been regarded as nonstandard.”

Oxford Dictionaries (British English)

“There is no logical reason for insisting that all right should be written as two words rather than as alright, when other single-word forms such as altogether have long been accepted. Nevertheless, alright is still regarded as being unacceptable in formal writing.”

Merriam-Webster (American English)

“Although the spelling alright is nearly as old as all right, some critics have insisted alright is all wrong. Nevertheless it has its defenders and its users, who perhaps have been influenced by analogy with altogether and already. It is less frequent than all right but remains common especially in informal writing. It is quite common in fictional dialogue and is sometimes found in more formal writing.”

Macquarie Dictionary (Australian English)

“Although alright has been a disputed usage for all right, it is increasingly common in published writing.”