The introduction of 'OK' into national vernacular

1. The Student Newspaper, March 21, 2016
By Rosanna Marshall

On 23 March, 1839, the term 'OK' was published in the Boston Morning Press. We may not usually think about the words we use in everyday conversation, but before 'OK' was added into the standard vernacular, what did we use instead? As Allan Metcalf points out in the February 2011 BBC News Magazine: ''OK' is everywhere, used every day'. Even if you've never given it any thought, this small, seemingly inconsequential word has a fascinating history.

Despite popular opinion, the term 'OK' did not originate from the Army biscuit 'Orin Kendall', nor from a favourite port for acquiring rum, Aux Cayes. In fact, it began as a slang term in the 19th century, used by educated individuals. Just like today, in the 1830s it was fashionable to abbreviate words to create popular slang terms, such as 'OW' ('oll wright').
'OK' was first printed as a joke with reference to the presidential re-election of Martin Van Buren, nicknamed 'Old Kinderhook' due to his hometown origins. In the political campaign, Whigs employed the term to portray the Democratic founder, Andrew Jackson, as unintelligent. They claimed that Jackson used 'OK' as an abbreviation for 'all correct' to sign approved documents, mocking his spelling ability. The slate to the Democratic Party found its way into the national newspaper and discovered a lucky niche.

The term inspired different opinions at first, many avoiding the trend due to its implications of illiteracy. However, its gradual acceptance demonstrates a turning point in the American lifestyle as changes to the norm were gradually embraced, spiralling into what later became the 20th century individualism and popular culture.

'OK' is now viewed as one of America's most circulated lingual inventions, leading to its own adaptation in spelling such as 'okay'. Due to today's internationalism and ease of communication, in Britain we see Americanisms in spelling every day. However, as a word in its own right, 'OK' has been embraced worldwide. This is proved by its adoption in the title of the world's largest celebrity magazine, which now reaches over 20 countries globally, only 150 years after the word's creation.

2. Literary History March 20 - 26

"OK" (or "okay" or "O.K." or "ok" - pick your fighter) is one of the most common words in the English language - and even one of the most recognized words in the world, but it actually started out as a newspaper editor's joke.
The first known print appearance of the expression "O.K." was in the March 23, 1839 edition of the Boston Morning Post. It was part of a little joking exchange between one of the editors of that paper and another from the Providence Journal, because apparently that was something newspaper editors had time and space for back then.

But here's the salient moment:
... perhaps if he should return to Boston, via Providence, he of the Journal, and his train-band, would have the "contribution box," et ceteras, o. k.-all correct - and cause the corks to fly, like sparks, upward.
Well ... ok. "Even if it was not born in a stable, o. k. was anything but great in this first appearance," writes Allan Metcalf in the definitive book on the subject.
"It appeared in lowercase letters, befitting its lowly employment as an attempt at humor (and also not abbreviating a proper noun)." Turns out that people were just as corny in the 19th century as they are now; both deliberate misspellings and snappy initialisms were all the rage - which is how "all correct" became "oll korrect" became "o.k." Lots of newspaper editors giggled into their coffee cups over that one.
But eventually, of course, we all started arguing over which version of the joke-misspelling was, in fact, the correct joke-misspelling. At least for once, no matter where you land, it's really gonna be okay.

Vertaling "OK" (of "okay" of "OK" of "ok" - kies je voorkeur) is een van de meest voorkomende woorden in de Engelse taal - en zelfs een van de meest herkende woorden ter wereld, maar het begon eigenlijk als grap van een krantenredacteur.
Het eerste bekende voorkomen van de uitdrukking "O.K." was in de editie van de Boston Morning Post op 23 maart 1839. Het was onderdeel van een grapje tussen een van de redacteuren van die krant en een andere van de Providence Journal, want daar hadden krantenredacteuren blijkbaar toen tijd en ruimte voor.

Dit is het belangrijkste moment:
... misschien als hij via Providence naar Boston zou terugkeren, zou hij van de Journal en zijn treinband de 'bijdragendoos' hebben, enzovoort. o.k. - allemaal correct (all korrect) - en ervoor zorgen dat de kurken als vonken omhoog vliegen.

We zullen … Oke. "Ook al is het niet in een stal geboren, o. k. was allesbehalve geweldig in deze eerste verschijning', schrijft Allan Metcalf in het definitieve boek over dit onderwerp.
"Het verscheen in kleine letters, passend bij zijn nederige beroep als een poging tot humor (en ook niet als afkorting van een eigennaam)." Blijkt dat mensen in de 19e eeuw net zo oubollig waren als nu; zowel opzettelijke spelfouten als pittige initialen waren een rage - en zo werd "allemaal correct" "oll korrect" en werd "o.k." Veel krantenredacteuren giechelden daarover in hun koffiekopjes.
Maar uiteindelijk begonnen we natuurlijk allemaal ruzie te maken over welke versie van de grap-spelfout in feite de juiste grap-spelfout was. In ieder geval voor één keer, waar je ook landt, het komt echt goed.
Vertaling Google translate

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