Today I'm going to list sets of words that are the source of common errors in writing and explain each version and its proper usage.
The first set is anyone vs any one.
Anyone is an indefinite pronoun, whereas any one is an adjective phrase that refers to an unspecified thing or individual. One way to remember is you can use anyone when you mean anybody.
Does anyone know who took Mary home?
There were over twenty people at the party. It could have been any one of them.
Next let's look at altogether and all together. The phrase all together means doing something collectively as a group, while the word altogether means entirely.
We rode to the party all together. (Can also be written: We all rode to the party together.)
I was altogether too tired to finish unpacking.
The words already and all ready are similar. The phrase all ready means all items or people are ready or prepared. The word already, on the other hand, means previously.
We were all ready to go to on our trip when we discovered the bus had already left.
Just as with all together, all ready can be split apart and still make sense.
We all were ready to go to on our trip when we discovered the bus had already left.
Now to my favorite... all right vs alright.
(You knew this was coming, didn't you? :P )
According to the powers that be, all right is acceptable, but alright is not really a word. Alright is NOT all right. (Oh, really...)
Supposedly all right means satisfactory or acceptable. But what about the sentence: His test answers were all right. ? The meaning here is all correct.
IMHO, all right and (the non-word) alright should follow the same rules as all ready/already and all together/altogether. To me, they do not mean the same thing. And for that reason, you will see alright in my writing, both in dialogue and narrative.
Words often become acceptable if people use them enough. :)
Sometimes I'm a grammar rebel.