Sunday, 19 May 2013

something old

You know on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood they have a saying: "You learn something old every day."

So who here knows where "Okay" came from?

I, in my vast experience and knowledge, always just assumed "okay" was the word, and lazy people wrote ok for short. hahaha. I read about it in my local newspaper, and finally looked it up to verify, at the link above.

O.K. is shorthand for "oll korrect" - a sort of joke amongst the newspaper people. "Okay" is simply the wordifying of those initials (I made that word up just now!) - it's called initialism.

I can't believe I was wrong about that, too.

(Yes, there's more.)

I have "always" written "til" in my recipes as a short for "until" - just leaving off the ' at the beginning. Spell check would tell me to write "till," but I happily ignored it, because I knew what it didn't - that I wasn't talking about tilling the earth. But then one day I looked it up. Till is its own word, with its own history, that means the same thing as "until." There is no reason to say 'til; just say till.

At least I'm learning, right?


Anonymous said...

Interesting. When I was in school, writing papers, I (nor any student) was not allowed to use O.K., but could use okay. I think the use of ok or OK without the periods is a more recent trend; I never used it until spell-check on the computer wanted me to do it that way.

Wil said...

Same as Mom, I was taught to use "okay" in papers (though discouraged from using any form of it, except as part of a quotation).

At the newspaper, the AP Style book (which most newspapers still use) insisted on using "O.K." I did not, since OK had always (my lifetime) been the postal abbreviation for Oklahoma.

Okay is one of the rare English words that's spelled exactly how it sounds, whereas "ok" would be pronounced "ok" (rhymes with sock). For me, that's as good a reason as any to spell it okay. :-)

As for til and till, I prefer to use "until" when I mean that, and "till" when I mean the soil/garden thing, simply to avoid confusion -- while being correct at the same time. :-)

(Another of my English pet peeves is that we have too many words spelled identically which mean different things, like "lead" the metal and "lead" as in leading the charge.)