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OK By Allan Metcalf (Professor of English, Professor of English, MacMurray College)

OK
by Allan Metcalf (Professor of English, Professor of English, MacMurray College)

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Metcalf traces the history of "OK" from its unusual birth as a jokey mis-transcribing of "all correct" in the 19th century, its rapid growth in various facets of American life, and its success overseas as the English word that all non-Americans know.
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OK Summary


OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word by Allan Metcalf (Professor of English, Professor of English, MacMurray College)

It is said to be the most frequently spoken (or typed) word on the planet, more common than an infant's first word ma or the ever-present beverage Coke. It was even the first word spoken on the moon. It is "OK"-the most ubiquitous and invisible of American expressions, one used countless times every day. Yet few of us know the hidden history of OK-how it was coined, what it stood for, and the amazing extent of its influence. Allan Metcalf, a renowned popular writer on language, here traces the evolution of America's most popular word, writing with brevity and wit, and ranging across American history with colorful portraits of the nooks and crannies in which OK survived and prospered. He describes how OK was born as a lame joke in a newspaper article in 1839-used as a supposedly humorous abbreviation for "oll korrect" (ie, "all correct")-but should have died a quick death, as most clever coinages do. But OK was swept along in a nineteenth-century fad for abbreviations, was appropriated by a presidential campaign (one of the candidates being called "Old Kinderhook"), and finally was picked up by operators of the telegraph. Over the next century and a half, it established a firm toehold in the American lexicon, and eventually became embedded in pop culture, from the "I'm OK, You're OK" of 1970's transactional analysis, to Ned Flanders' absurd "Okeley Dokeley!" Indeed, OK became emblematic of a uniquely American attitude, and is one of our most successful global exports. "An appealing and informative history of OK." -Washington Post Book World "After reading Metcalf's book, it's easy to accept his claim that OK is 'America's greatest word.'" -Erin McKean, Boston Globe "Entertaininga treat for logophiles." -Kirkus Reviews "Metcalf makes you acutely aware of how ubiquitous and vital the word has become." -Jeremy McCarter, Newsweek

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OK Reviews


A virtuoso display of linguistic scholarship. * The Sunday Telegraph *

About Allan Metcalf (Professor of English, Professor of English, MacMurray College)


Allan Metcalf is Professor of English at MacMurray College and Executive Secretary of the American Dialect Society. He is the author of many other books on language, including most recently Presidential Voices: Speaking Styles from George Washington to George W. Bush (2004). He participates in the "Lingua Franca" blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Table of Contents


Prologue: The Oddity of OK ; Chapter 1: The Joke ; Chapter 2: Old Kinderhook ; Chapter 3: The Jackson Myth ; Chapter 4: Telegraphic OK ; Chapter 5: The Business of OK ; Chapter 6: OK in Literature ; Chapter 7: Presidential "okeh" ; Chapter 8: Okey-Dokey ; Chapter 9: The Practical OK ; Chapter 10: The Philosophical OK: Twentieth Century ; Chapter 11: The Psychological OK ; Chapter 12: The Philosophical OK: Twenty-first Century ; Epilogue: OK Around the World

Additional information

GOR003874946
OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word by Allan Metcalf (Professor of English, Professor of English, MacMurray College)
Allan Metcalf (Professor of English, Professor of English, MacMurray College)
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Oxford University Press Inc
2012-04-01
240
0199892539
9780199892532
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.