A National Grammar Day Tale of Love

When Mr. Brown Met Miss Fox: A Love Story

Mignon Fogarty
Episode #312

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.”

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)?

Read the rest of the story.

Rich Russell blogs at http://rarlington.wordpress.com and you can find him on Twitter.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer's Digest's 101 best websites for writers multiple times. The Grammar Girl podcast has also won Best Education Podcast multiple times in the Podcast Awards, and Mignon is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame. Mignon is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" and six other books on writing. She has appeared as a guest on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and the "Today Show" and has been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, and more. She was previously the chair of media entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, NV. She hates the phrase "grammar nazi" and loves the word "kerfuffle." She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. 

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