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Grammar Girl 语法女孩(2012年) A National Grammar Day Tale of Love (March 1, 2012)

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Episode 312: March 1, 2012

Today I have a quick tip for you about the words “all right,” and then I have a special national grammar day short story that plays on the two possible spellings of “all right.”

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Our story is by Rich Russell and is titled “When Mr. Brown Met Miss Fox: A Love Story,” and for you to get the joke, you need to know that many people get confused about how to spell “all right.”

“All Right” Versus “Alright”

In Standard English, “all right” is written as two words: “all right.” Even though it’s two words, dictionaries classify the two words together as one adjective or adverb. It’s two words in these kinds of sentences:

  • The kids are all right.

  • All right, let’s go to the circus.

  • I like Squiggly. He’s all right.

Many people mistakenly spell it as one word: alright. Sometimes people even spell it that way on purpose to save space. But in proper English, it’s always two words.

When Mr. Brown Met Miss Fox: A Love Story

by Rich Russell

Quickly, Mr. Brown jumped ahead of Miss Fox in the queue.

“Excuse you,” she huffed.

 “Oh, I’m terribly sorry,” Mr. Brown apologized. “I didn’t realize you were all ready in line.”

 “Well, I was, and––did you say––did you just say ‘all ready’ as in two words, ‘all’ and then ‘ready’?”

 "No, I mean––how would you know if I said already (one word) or all ready (two words)?

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