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Ok

The meaning of «ok»

OK (spelling variations include okay, O.K., and ok) is an American English word denoting approval, acceptance, agreement, assent, acknowledgment, or a sign of indifference. OK is frequently used as a loanword in other languages. It has been described as the most frequently spoken or written word on the planet.[1] The origins of the word are disputed.

As an adjective, OK principally means "adequate" or "acceptable" as a contrast to "bad" ("The boss approved this, so it is OK to send out"); it can also mean "mediocre" when used in contrast with "good" ("The french fries were great, but the burger was just OK"). It fulfills a similar role as an adverb ("Wow, you did OK for your first time skiing!"). As an interjection, it can denote compliance ("OK, I will do that"), or agreement ("OK, that is fine"). It can mean "assent" when it is used as a noun ("the boss gave her the OK to the purchase") or, more colloquially, as a verb ("the boss OKed the purchase"). OK, as an adjective, can express acknowledgement without approval.[2] As a versatile discourse marker or back-channeling item, it can also be used with appropriate voice tone to show doubt or to seek confirmation ("OK?", "Is that OK?").[3]

Many explanations for the origin of the expression have been suggested, but few have been discussed seriously by linguists. The following proposals have found mainstream recognition.[4]

The etymology that most reference works provide today is based on a survey of the word's early history in print: a series of six articles by Allen Walker Read[5] in the journal American Speech in 1963 and 1964.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] He tracked the spread and evolution of the word in American newspapers and other written documents, and later throughout the rest of the world. He also documented controversy surrounding OK and the history of its folk etymologies, both of which are intertwined with the history of the word itself. Read argues that, at the time of the expression's first appearance in print, a broader fad existed in the United States of "comical misspellings" and of forming and employing acronyms, themselves based on colloquial speech patterns:

The abbreviation fad began in Boston in the summer of 1838 ... and used expressions like OFM, "our first men," NG, "no go," GT, "gone to Texas," and SP, "small potatoes." Many of the abbreviated expressions were exaggerated misspellings, a stock in trade of the humorists of the day. One predecessor of OK was OW, "oll wright."[13]

The general fad is speculated to have existed in spoken or informal written U.S. English for a decade or more before its appearance in newspapers. OK's original presentation as "all correct" was later varied with spellings such as "Oll Korrect" or even "Ole Kurreck".

The term appears to have achieved national prominence in 1840, when supporters of the Democratic political party claimed during the 1840 United States presidential election that it stood for "Old Kinderhook", a nickname for the Democratic president and candidate for reelection, Martin Van Buren, a native of Kinderhook, New York. "Vote for OK" was snappier than using his Dutch name.[14] In response, Whig opponents attributed OK, in the sense of "Oll Korrect," to the bad spelling of Andrew Jackson, Van Buren's predecessor. The country-wide publicity surrounding the election appears to have been a critical event in OK's history, widely and suddenly popularizing it across the United States.

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oka* okb* okc* okd* oke* okf* okg* okh* oki* okj* okk* okl* okm* okn* oko* okp* okq* okr* oks* okt* oku* okv* okw* okx* oky* okz*
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