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I'm British. I am editing a document, and I was going to correct a use of "all together" where the author clearly meant "altogether" (as in "entirely"). But then I realised this might just be a British distinction... is it? Do Americans accept "all together" as a valid alternative to "altogether", i.e. "entirely"? (The document is for an international audience.)

closed as unclear what you're asking by RegDwigнt Oct 29 '15 at 12:03

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    There is a difference between 'altogether' and 'all together' in British English and both are perfectly valid in the right contexts. Please can you give a complete sentence. P.S. 'altoghether' appears in Merriam-Webster merriam-webster.com/dictionary/altogether so clearly it is not unknown in the US. – chasly from UK Oct 29 '15 at 11:50
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    "Altogether" is perfectly well known and understood in the US as well. There are contexts where either term will work, however, and one's judgment might vary based on which bank of the pond one is on. – Hot Licks Oct 29 '15 at 11:57
  • @HotLicks It’s well-known that one’s judgement indeed varies so. :) – tchrist Oct 29 '15 at 12:34
  • @tchrist - I gave up on that word a few years back. I prefer "judgement", and believe it to be "more correct", except in legal contexts. But the spell checkers always overrule me, and I got tired of fighting. – Hot Licks Oct 29 '15 at 12:41
  • @HotLicks I also always spell it judgement and acknowledgement because the versions without the e don’t make sense to me. – tchrist Oct 29 '15 at 12:45
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All together: in a group (a phrase of ALL) "all together, class" Altogether: an adverb meaning completely, totally, wholly, etc. "I am flustered altogether"

Personally, I think the distinction is pretty straightforward whether British, American, Australian ...

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    Right: there is no difference in these that varies by region. It’s just a common blunder. – tchrist Oct 29 '15 at 12:23

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