I know you’ve heard this one before. And I concede right now that there’s no logical reason why “already” should be spelled as one word with a single “l”, while “all right” is two words and a double “l”.
Language isn’t consistent, okay? It’s in a constant state of change, and not all the bits of it change at the same rate. At some time in the future, “all right” may well have finished mutating into the single-word, single-“l” form — but that time is not now.
There. I’ve got that off my chest, so it’s back to the word mines.
3 thoughts on “Peeve of the Day”
Have you covered ’til vs. till yet? 🙂
“Till” and “’til” appear to be in free variation; the online Merriam-Webster allows both.
“Until” is the easy way out of the dilemma.
(True story: til is also the Old Icelandic preposition meaning “to” or “towards”. At the point in my grad school career when I was studying for my Ph.D. written exams, I was so immersed in the language that one day, on my way in from the suburbs to center-city Philadelphia, I found myself trying to recall/reconstruct the genitive form of “train station”, because I was going to the train station and the Old Icelandic til is one of those prepositions that take a genitive object.)
I have my opinion on ’til/till:
If you can replace the word with “until,” use ’til. If you’re talking about your cash drawer or what you do to the soil, use till.