You people need to send along some requests; I’m a little thin on Grammar Wednesday fodder.
Today, we’re going to put a stake in the heart of something that bugs a lot of people, especially teachers (sorry; I just finished reading a vampire novel). It’s a question that comes to us via Kizz (who is the most ardent Grammar Wednesday material provider; thanks, Kizz!). She asks:
Re: Grammar Wed, have you done alright vs. all right? Is alright even a real thing or just something I see too much? I know I never use it.
I’m glad you never use it because it’s NOT a real thing. According to my Webster’s New World English Grammar Handbook (“the ULTIMATE desk reference,” it says. Gee, hyperbole much?):
Alright is a corrupt spelling of all right. It is not generally accepted.
The Columbia Guide to Standard English is also pretty clear on the question:
All right is the only spelling Standard English recognizes.
I see no equivocation there.
I suspect that, eventually, alright will be integrated into the language. It does get used an awful lot, and it’s generally mass acceptance of a grammatical or linguistic structure that dictates its “correctness” within a language. Right now, though? It’s wrong. Don’t use it.
In addition to Kizz’s question, I wanted to touch on something that I’ve heard and seen too many times in the last few days. It has to to with subject/verb agreement, and I’m starting to feel as though only about seven people in the world (okay, maybe only in MY world, but still) know how to do this right:
There’s a million reasons why you shouldn’t date that guy.
There’s a lot of people out there who don’t know how to use commas correctly.
The subject of the first sentence is reasons. Reasons is plural, so the verb of the sentence is are, not is. So, too, with the second sentence: the subject is people, so the verb should be are. I hear and see this sort of thing ALL THE TIME and, in the words of Julia – my once-lurker, now commenter – it just “chaps my hide!” Please don’t do it.
Happy Wednesday, All! Keep those suggestions and questions coming!