- All right or alright. Both mean fairly good or acceptable. And, most people would agree that either form is “all right”. However, purists would probably insist on “all right”. So, if you were writing a formal document It would be best to stick with “all right”. In your informal writing and in most fiction writing using “alright” is, well, alright.
- Regardless or irregardless. This one, you say, is a no brainier. Irregardless is just flat wrong, right? Wrong. While not regarded as correct, it is expressed in speech probably more that most people want to admit. As a result it has crept into the dictionary. So, technically either one is correct. But, if you insisted on regardless, you’d get no argument from me.
- Whose or who’s. This one can be a little tricky because a contraction (apostrophe and “s”) usually means possession. For example: John’s Mercedes. But, “whose” actually refers to the possessive form of who or which. For example: “Whose sandwich is this?” Who’s is the contraction for who is or who has. So, you’d say: “Who’s going to enter that silly contest?” One easy way to distinguish the two in a sentence is to use “who is”. If it sounds off then “whose” is correct, otherwise, “who’s” is the right word.
My last blog addressed some of those difficult words we, as writers, face from time to time. You know, the ones that cause to scratch you head and ponder, “Is it written this way or that?” Or, ask, “What does that word actually mean?” Here are three more examples that cause me to pause and ponder: