1. Cady36
    Offline

    Cady36 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Idaho Panhandle

    OK? or Okay? or O.K.?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Cady36, Feb 24, 2009.

    *sigh*

    This is apparently bad grammar week for me.

    I tend to write with tons of dialog because realistic dialog is mostly pretty easy for me, especially in longer fiction, i.e. book-length.

    So when my characters say OK, is it OK? Okay? or O.K.?

    Thanks,

    Cady
     
  2. Atari
    Offline

    Atari Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Louisiana
    First, the facts:

    Okay, if a word at all, is a recent addition to the dictionary, and much like the word 'aint,' it is not any more fit to the English language despite the honor of being present in many lexicons.

    OK is simply wrong, period.

    O.K., which may be followed with a comma after the period, as I have done here, is the most formal, proper use of the word.

    Now, orthodox:

    If you are writing a character - specifically, this character's dialogue within quotation marks - who is known for relaxed grammar, then using the word okay may serve to bolster this manner of speech.

    I do recall, however; how a comic of 'Calvin and Hobbes' was edited to remove 'okay' and replace it with 'O.K.,' until the author would write 'O.K.' without prompting.
     
  3. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    It's an acronym? So what does it stand for?

    Personally I use okay. It might not be perfectly correct, but in the grand scheme of things, I think it matters very little, and looks less clumsy than O.K.
     
  4. Gannon
    Offline

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    The etymology of this term is highly contentious and it is very likely that the 'o' sound and 'k' sound do not stand for anything, rather that they are derived from another language source and transcribed into Western orthographics such. The most credible argument for O.K. being an abbreviation is that it stands for 'oll korrect', itself a mispellt legacy from the C19.

    See the wikipedia link for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okay

    NB: Computer interface regularly uses /OK/ without spacing dots.
     
  5. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    I've usually seen it in novels as 'okay.' It is sometimes necessary to use it if you want to depict realistic dialogue.
    It IS in the dictionary. The FOUR I checked had it under:
    OK / see okay.
    okay / also spelled OK.
    although I don't know which is the more common spelling in the US.
     
  6. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca

    I totally agree. I have never and never will use O.K. To hell with that, lol.


    A quick search through Octavia Bulter's novels, I found she uses okay. I respect her writing big time.

    Come to think of it, I don't recall ever seeing O.K. in a novel.
     
  7. Cady36
    Offline

    Cady36 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Idaho Panhandle
    Okay (;)), I think I'll spell it out. That was my personal choice.

    In my current WIP, my fingers automatically type "OK", then I've been jumping back with search-n-replace and making it Okay/okay. Then I got to looking at it and thought..."O.K.?"

    I'd probably get a lot more writing done if I'd just write the stupid thing and worry about editing stuff later.

    Thanks guys.
     
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    most believable origin is the choctaw word, 'okeh'... an emphatic 'yes' it was said to have been picked up by pres. andy jackson during the battle of new orleans and caught on...
     
  9. Cady36
    Offline

    Cady36 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Idaho Panhandle
    Okeh dokeh! :p

    Thanks, Maia. I love etymology.

    C.
     
  10. lazzycat
    Offline

    lazzycat New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Learn a lot from your discussion.
    Thanks!
     

Share This Page