Grammar rules have been around since the dawn of the written word and so has confusion about them. What’s right or wrong can be difficult to grasp, with commas oddly going out of fashion, with rules changing, yes, changing.
Like with alright. Though it is recognized as one word by Spellcheck, many insist it’s not a real word. But times they are a changin’ and as spoken word has adapted, there’s now a notable difference between all right and alright.
All right is preferred in narrative (unless you’re in First Person, then it’s on a case by case basis), but alright can be used in dialogue or thought when it’s clear it’s an exclamation or question [e.g. “Alright! Who made this mess?” or “Alright? Why are you acting so weird?”] and not a state of being or a predicate adjective [“I’m all right, feeling much better now that my migraine’s gone.” or “The pie was all right. I’ve had better.”] See? There’s a difference. And it’s an easy distinction.
I had one critter insist my use of towards versus toward was unacceptable in America and that TOWARD is the preferred word. Perhaps that’s correct, but in some instances toward sounds off and the dictionary says I can use them interchangeably, so I do. I use whatever sounds right in the sentence. If you’re narrative is richly constructed, leaning towards lyrical (Ha!), your story historical, your characters prim, towards would be perfectly suitable. Do as you will.
Some rules have done back flips to remain jazzy and hip only to end up in the dead zone. Others are still holding strong, aiming to remain etched in the books forever. If you’re wondering what’s dead and buried and what the current standard is, here’s a cute site I just found that contains grammar myths, grammar phobias and little tombstones for those long gone rules of yesterday that have been so kindly laid to rest.
Check out: Grammar Phobia.