All righty then!
February 18, 2011 3:59 PM Subscribe
How 'OK' took over the world.
posted by VikingSword (69 comments total)
42 users marked this as a favorite
'It crops up in our speech dozens of times every day, although it apparently means little. So how did the word "OK" conquer the world, asks Allan Metcalf', author of OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word
. 'On 23 March 1839, OK was introduced to the world on the second page of the Boston Morning Post, in the midst of a long paragraph, as "o.k. (all correct)". How this weak joke survived at all, instead of vanishing like its counterparts, is a matter of lucky coincidence involving the American presidential election of 1840.'
'And any lingering stigma associated with OK is long since gone. Now OK is not out of place in the mouth of a US president like Barack Obama.' 'The word would also easily slip from the mouth of a British prime minister like David Cameron.
And yet, despite its conquest of conversations the world over, there remain vast areas of language where OK is scarcely to be found.
You won't find OK in prepared speeches. Indeed, most formal speeches and reports are free of OK.
Modern English translations of the Bible remain almost entirely OK-free. Many a published book has not a single instance of OK.
But OK still rules over the vast domain of our conversation.'