Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Strunk & White, Alright vs All Right

Strunk & White's immortal classic of clear writing, "The Elements of Style", was composed and published in 1919. Even today, editors and authors use this tiny, little book as a definitive source.

However, the book was published in 1919, ad things have changed since. One specific thing has changed: "Alright".

In 1919, "Alright" was not a recognized word. It was a common misspelling of "All Correct", which is no longer a synonym.

Today "Alright" is a synonym of "Okay". "Are you okay?" = "Are you alright?". "Are you all correct?" is not correct.

However, because we hang on to this little book and use it as a guide for modern...

i interrupt this rant to announce that a tiny ant has crawled across my screen. i do not know where this ant hopped aboard my laptop. i do know, that the poor thing will likely never return home before it starves to death somewhere in the guts of my little machine.

i've completely lost my train of thought because i'm seeing scent trails an pheromones all over my computer. ants leave scent trails. they communicate with smell.

someday, when we meet an alien race with insectile similarities, they might hand us their holy book in a vial. we'll open the jar, and see nothing. we'll sniff the air inside and say, "it smells like cheese and feet."

hopefully such a scent will be considered a complement lest we begin an intergalactic incident.

No comments: