1. Crybaby
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    Crybaby Contributing Member

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    Spelling OK or Okay?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Crybaby, Sep 17, 2016.

    Which is best to use in dialogue? OK or Okay?

    Someone advised me once never to use OK but to always spell it, Okay. The thing that confuses me is when I'm reading published stories, I read that word spelled, OK most of the time. Which one is it or is there a rule I don't know about when using it? I thought I'd throw it ot there. :confused:
     
  2. Francis de Aguilar
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    Francis de Aguilar Active Member

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    Not 'OK' for sure. As far as I am aware ok and okay are both okay. I have decided on the full version; okay or Okay if it's the first word.
     
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  3. Crybaby
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    I have always used the full spelling 'okay' but I keep reading ok and I wondered if I was using it wrong after all this time. Thanks for clearing that up for me. :superagree:
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Both are equally acceptable. Just make sure you're consistent throughout the manuscript.
     
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  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I use okay because ok looks truncated to me. Pick your poison and stick with it :)
     
  6. Crybaby
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    Noted. :)
     
  7. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another one for 'Okay' here. I do it for the same reason I'd use 'Be there on the tenth.' and not 'Be there on the 10th.'

    I think we have a duty to spelt out dialogue fully, but this can create problems, for instance if you needed a character to say that their bank balance was £2,456.45.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
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  8. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    It says right in the AP Stylebook "Do not use okay." So, in most newspapers you are going to see "ok." But I find "okay" seems to be what's used in a lot of literary fiction. I made the switch from using "ok" to "okay." An editor isn't going to mind fixing that, I believe. Places have their own house styles. Having used both, I think "okay" is more fun when it's spelled out. If I was writing a piece for a newspaper, I would just use "ok" because they are probably going to change it to that anyway. But for a novel, I would spell it out. Is that crazy that I actually think "okay" is fun to write? LOL. I was just trying to get it in one more time there, okay?
     
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  9. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    I changed all my OKs to "okay" because you can do more with it. Like drag out the second syllable to reflect dubiety: "Okaaaaaaay . . . "
     
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  10. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Pick one, and stick with it. OK is Oklahoma, Ok is the shortened Okay. :supergrin:

    So using all upper case for the shorter version is having everyone saying it, paying unwitting homage to a pot shaped state with a flaming base. :p
     
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  11. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    I prefer okay (more versatile and doesn't clash as much with surrounding prose), but agree with those that have said either is OK :)

    On technicality, I disagree with those that recommend lowercase ok or Ok. From what I've read, the word comes from an abbreviation of a phrase (exactly which phrase is up for debate), so as an abbreviation both letters should be capitalised. I think it's also acceptable to include the full stops - O.K. But it's a word in its own right now, so can be spelt phonetically as per my preference, in which case the usual capitalisation rules apply.

    Having said that, it doesn't phase me when authors use the IMO technically wrong ones. I know what is meant. And I have never once thought of a state of the USA.
     
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  12. Crybaby
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    Okay! :superagree:
     
  13. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    I'll usually go with "okay" or "OK" because that's how it's pronounced. "Ok" seems like the name of a cave man, and "ok" begs to be pronounced "ock" (at least in my mind). I should note that the AP Stylebook uses the capital form: OK, OK'd, OK'ing, OKs.
     
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  14. nataku
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    nataku Member

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    Lot's of good advice, a good friend told me 'if it's short for something then don't' which I find a good rule of thumb to use. Like how you generally write numbers under one hundred full out rather than the digit unless the person is talking mathematics in which case you use digits.
     
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