Post by Eric Walker
1) is alright...
But "alright" is not all right. Or even a little bit right.
You're right of course, but "all right" is a bit of an anomaly: why make
its formation different from that of always, altogether etc.? I suspect
that at least some of the people who write "alright" do so deliberately.
No doubt. So do all malfeasors of any sort.
If "alright" is supposed to be a substitute for "all right", there are
many instances in which it fails badly. A standard example is:
a. Chloe’s test answers were all right.
b. Chloe’s test answers were alright.
Does (b) mean they were all correct, or does it mean that they were more
or less satisfactory? I suppose one could argue that the same holds for
(a), but I daresay of a hundred random folk asked its meaning, something
over 90 would answer that it means the answers were each correct.
A colorable argument can be made that the two forms could co-exist with
somewhat different senses, just as do "altogether"and "all together" or
"already" and "all ready". The closed form, "alright", could be used for
the idea of being in good shape or acceptable, while the paired form
would mean just what its components say: entirely correct (where, I
suppose, "entirely" might often be used metaphorically).