1. Howard_B
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    Howard_B Active Member

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    Spelling How best write a slow "ok"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Howard_B, Jan 21, 2015.

    Hi guys.

    Any ideas on how to write a piece of dialogue when a person says "Ok." slowly ? As in hesitantly ...

    In my own writing when I want to indicate a hesitancy between words I use a double dot .. But it doesn't look right when I write O .. k. It's just too spaced out.

    Ideas ? I am not a stickler for good practice or the rules of writing and punctuation.

    Tks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Okay." Douglas James Tobias Arnold-Jones hovered on the first syllable interminably before delivering the second.

    Is what I might do.
     
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  3. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Oookay."
     
  4. Howard_B
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    Howard_B Active Member

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    I understand. Describe it rather than try to 'spell' it .... that's interesting... Thanks for that.
     
  5. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be honest, I think he was joking. Personally, I'd use "Oookay."
     
  6. Howard_B
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    Howard_B Active Member

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    Mmm.... that reads too much like an oooo sound .... :D
     
  7. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    His lips pursed for the vowel, 'Oh, he said and 'Kay,' he said, the yellow teeth betrayed hesitancy, and reaching for the handcuffs...ummmmm
     
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  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I may be old-fashioned, but I like a simple "he said slowly" or something like that.
     
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You'd lose the effect, the sarcasm if you said it so plainly, dully. But the idea isn't wrong.

    "Oh ... Kay," she said, stretching the oh with those pouty lips [I love, hate,]
    "Oh ... Kay," he said, pausing longer on the oh than a train whistle.
    "Oh ... Kay," she said, her voice raising two octaves in pitch when she got to 'kay'.​
     
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  10. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    "Okay..." Darren couldn't quite say but there was something different about Laura tonight.
     
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  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'll write it the way it shows up in my chat logs:

    Oh...
    ....
    ...kay.
     
  12. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    I sense plagiarism on the thread. Where's the moderator? I mean no, don't moderate me, please no, not the ray gun.
     
  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've seen it written "Okaaay."
     
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  14. NewEnterprise
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    She paused for a few seconds but eventually nodded slowly and breathed a long "okay" into his ears...

    Something like that maybe :)
     
  15. Howard_B
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    Howard_B Active Member

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    I love all the ideas .... brilliant !!

    I am coming down on the side of two broad solutions. Firstly last night I tried out "ok .." and thought it looks VERY good, so thank you you guys. Also the "Okaay" solution looks very good too ... though I think perhaps it is better suited to informal conversation between younger people ... I hope that makes sense.

    Great stuff :D
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm trying to ponder, is there a subtle difference in meaning between 'OooohKay' and "Okaaay"? I can hear them both in my head. I like the spelling of the longer pause on the K.
     
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  17. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    In text speak people type "mmk". It took me about seven or eight years to realize it wasn't an acronym and then I felt stupid. I don't recommend using that.
     
  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, they definitely sound different. I think there is a slight difference in meaning between the two as well.

    I'd take the OooohKay to mean the person saying it is not terribly pleased by what he/she is agreeing to. And that it's taken a helluva long time or big argument to get to that point.

    I think the Okaaay signifies the person isn't sure what they're actually agreeing to, but is just going with the flow.

    Writing. Ain't it fun?
     
  19. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This one gets my vote! :agreed:
     
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  20. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'd spell it out normally and use the narrative to describe the manner in which is was spoken, which is basically what you do in most situations. In other words, if someone is speaking in an abrupt, clipped manner, you just say it, in combination with word choice, short sentences or what have you. You don't typically spell the words differently to try to make the dialogue impart the manner of speech on its own. If it can't be done with regular spelling and grammar, you just supply the information in the narrative. If someone uses an icy tone, or their speech has a languorous quality, to the extent it doesn't come across via the speech itself, with conventional grammar and spelling, you just say it. Why should it be different for "OK?"

    To me, drawing out the spelling doesn't work as well as simply stating the manner in which the speech is made.
     
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  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    But we're talking about dialogue here. Dialogue can be written phonetically. It's commonly done when the character's voice is heavily accented. I'm not seeing how this is different from writing colloquial dialect.
     
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  22. GingerCoffee
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    That's ironic since it's more characters than OK. :p
     
  23. HelloImRex
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    Why not just "Okay?".

    It being a question mark implies its hesitant and slow in my mind.

    "Okay?" he stammered unsure if what was being done to the goat was legal.
     
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  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Sure, you can do it. I'm just saying how I'd do it. For me personally, drawing out the spelling of OK isn't the best way to go. The same is true when an author uses heavy dialect in dialogue, unless they really know what they're doing. There are exceptions, where it is handled well and really seems to fit the story. In general, though, less is more, and in the case of OK, it is a lot easier to spell it normally and tag it with some descriptive narrative that I'd take that approach over spelling it funny. Like I said, the majority of the time this is exactly how dialogue is handled, and while I can see making an exception in the case of dialect if you have a good reason and can pull it off, it doesn't seem worth it in the case of a simple OK that can be described.
     
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  25. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    How about beats before the okay.
    "...Okay."
     
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