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Is it Really “Alright/All Right?”

As I completed my gym workout,  I spilled water from my bottle onto the floor. There was enough water to make a square yard-sized puddle.

I did my best to sop it up with paper towels, and then I told the woman at the front desk that I spilled water in the stretching area and it’s not completely dry.

Her response: “That’s alright.”

As I walked to my car, I thought, No, it’s not alright, or all right. I made a mess and possibly jeopardized the safety of some other gym patron. If it really was all right (or alright, the adverb form of all right), everything would be all right, and jeopardizing the safety is not all right (or alright).

We use terms, including alright/all right, too casually without considering what the words mean. To make sure, I looked up all right.

It is informal speech meaning, “agreeable, acceptable, or commendable.”

I find it hard to believe that my gym would agree or accept my puddle; similarly, why would I be commended for leaving a puddle? About the only commendable act was my informing the woman that there was a puddle.

The more appropriate response would have been: “Thank you for telling me.”

Once the staff cleaned the puddle, or once it dried, then everything would be alright.

Or all right.

Until next time! Use the right words!


November 15, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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