Psst, should I say that aloud or out loud?

Ever stop writing and say “Huh?!” aloud when deciding if aloud or out loud should be used in your story?

Aloud is an adverb meaning “using the voice so it can be heard.” It excludes whispering. Hence, Jeff finally said aloud all that he’d been thinking for the past month.

Out loud – which is two words – is an adverbial phrase meaning “loud enough to be heard, often without restraint.” To wit, “Not again!” Laura said out loud.

While the two terms essentially are interchangeable, out loud can imply a sudden shout, scream or other human-made noise. Something said out loud probably was done so without thinking or “without restraint.” Because of this, you’ll most commonly see out loud paired with blurt or laugh, as in “That’s stupid!” a man blurted from the back of the crowd out loud.