OK or Okay: Which to Use?

Whether it’s OK or okay, you hear the phrase on a daily basis. You watch it print, television, online, etc. In fact, the phrase okay has been defined as the most written and spoken phrase in the world. Among the reasons is that it is used and also recognized across numerous languages, with plenty of modifying the spelling contempt to fit your language (ôkê in Vietnamese). 

But individual language’s changes aside, the typical two-letter spelling the we space all supplied to – OK – has actually spread thoughout the globe and also is known universally. But is this spelling acceptable to use in officially documents and also emails? Let’s have actually a look at the difference, and also check v various format guides to view if over there are any type of clear rules. 

The difference – yes sir vs. Okay

There is no actual distinctions in definition between okay and OK. Together we all know, both words average “all right.” Some might think that the shorter, two-letter OK is just a truncated version of okay. However, the contrary is true – okay is acquired from OK. Although us are normally used to seeing it as an adverb or adjective, “okay” can be provided as a verb, to mean providing something approval. Because that example: “Has the board OK’ed the expansion?” right here are a couple of more instances of okay/OK: being used as one adverb, and also adjective and a verb: 

You room going to be okayIt may not it is in a Benz, yet this vehicle is okay.Its okay to it is in nervous.Is she feeling okay? She watch sick.Can you ask Dave if he OK’ed the critical transaction?OK, let’s go! 

The background of Okay


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The precise origin of OK is up because that debate; yet a widely-accepted theory claims that in the 1800’s, the phrase “all correct” has started to be spelled phonetically together “oll korrect,” somewhat as a gag. With time, civilization shortened it to the initials OK. It was approximately this time that President Martin van Buren, whose nickname was “Old Kinderhook” as he to be from a new York town referred to as Kinderhook, to be up for reelection. His campaign seized the opportunity and also introduced his reelection slogan: “Vote for OK.” Old Kinderhook finished up loosing the choice in 1840; yet the word OK remained popular and also eventually has found its way around the world. The phonetic variation – okay – arised a couple of decades after, follow to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary).

So when Is It it s okay to create OK?

It is true that some style guides will favor one over the other. For example, while Chicago hands-on of Style gives for sure no preferences, the AP Stylebook requires OK, in all uses of the word, even as a verb (OK’ed and OK’ing).

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Both room Okay

The bottom line is the both execution of words – okay and OK are acceptable variations in official writing. The selection is yours!

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