📦 Why we say OK

🤦🏽‍♂️ Boston, it’s your fault

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It's OK to not be OK, as long as you don't stay that way.

Anonymous

This is the most recognizable word on the planet.

In any country, any language…

If I show you this 👌 gesture, I'm sure you'll immediately recognize its meaning.

Probably, you use it every single day.

But do you know what OK actually means?

And where did it come from?

Here's what we got for you today:

  • 🤦🏽‍♂️ Boston, it’s your fault

  • 🆗️ The OK’s father

  • 🌟The machine that made OK a pop star

Read time: 5 min 21 sec

WHY WE SAY “OK”
🤦🏽‍♂️ Boston, it’s your fault

Believe it or not, OK is the result of a spelling mistake.

In the 1830s, fad young intellectual types in Boston, Massachusetts created this joke about intentionally misspelling abbreviations.

Such as:

  • KC → “Knuff ced”

  • KY → “Know yuse”

  • OW → “Oll wrigth”

Luckily, one abbreviation rose above the rest: OK“Oll Korrect”.

Yep! OK, means “All Correct”. Now it makes sense, “wright”?😉

In the earlier 1830s, “all correct” was a common phrase to confirm that everything was in order.

This abbreviation started to become mainstream on March 23, 1839, when OK was published for the first time in the Boston Morning Post.

Boston Morning Post via newspaperarchive.com / Illustration by Madeline Bilis

After that, the joke spread quickly around the US, with other papers posting about it too.

But, this was only the beginning…

What made OK to become an icon of the pop culture was a politician.

🆗️ The OK’s father

OK, grew in popularity when the reelection campaign of a US president from Kinderhook, New York took place in 1840. **Save the name of this town.

His name? Martin Van Buren.

He adopted the name of his hometown as a nickname.

The message to US people was pretty clear: Old Kinderhook was “Oll Korrect” → OK.

It’s genius, isn’t it?

Well, maybe not so much…

His opponents ended up using the OK abbreviation against him.

OK, it turned:

  • Orful Konspirancy,

  • Orful Katastrophe

  • And etc

OK didn’t save Bure’s campaign, but OK became fashionable, and it consolidated itself in American culture.

However, what made OK become an international word and recognized by all nations was the invention of a revolutionary machine—the Telegraph.

🌟The machine that made OK a “pop star”

The telegraph was invented in 1844, just 5 years after OK.

It was a safe and quick way to send messages across the country.

Using the combination of dots “.” and dashes “-” it was possible to send messages by electric impulses.

Each combination of dots and dashes means a letter of the alphabet.

The combination of O and K it’s simple to reproduce and to understand.

According to the old manuals of the telegraph, the word OK became the standard signal for the end of a message.

So, to make sure the operator finishes his message, he should say:

The word OK is represented by this combination

This is how OK became a “pop star” not only in America but all over the world. And now, it doesn’t matter where you are and the language you speak, you will always understand when somebody says, “OK Google”.

VOCABULARY
1. BTW: “By the way”

BTW: “By the way”

BTW, is the abbreviation of “By the way”. It’s a phrase used to introduce a new topic of conversation that is not directly related to the current discussion. It's often employed to add information, share an aside, or bring up a separate point without making it the main focus of the conversation.

Example: "I finished reading the book you lent me last week, and I loved it. Oh, btw, are you going to Lisa's party this weekend? I heard it's going to be great.”.

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2. ASAP: “As soon as possible”

ASAP: “As soon as possible”

ASAP stands for "As Soon As Possible". It's used to indicate that something should be done quickly, without undue delay.

Example: "Please send me the report ASAP so I can review it before the meeting.".

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3. LOL: “Laugh out loud"

LOL: “Laugh out loud"

LOL stands for "Laugh Out Loud". It’s a modern expression from the internet age, used to express amusement or laughter in response to something funny.

Example: "He told me he tried to bake a cake but ended up burning it. LOL, I can't believe he thought he could cook!”.

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FLASHCARD COLLECTION
What does the phrasal verb “Get Over” mean?

Front side

What does the phrasal verb “Figure Out” mean?

Pick one of the following answers 👇🏽

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FLASHCARD COLLECTION
Answer

Back side

1️⃣ To recover from an illness or emotional setback.
2️⃣ To physically overcome an obstacle.
3️⃣ To increase the volume of something.

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1  "Orful" is a dialectical variation of the word "Awful.”.