Okay? Okay.

There's "awesome", there's "great", even "good". And then, there's the old standby: "okay". In English -- and by that, I mean American/Canadian English -- "okay" means just that: okay. It's very neutral, not showing much favouring towards the good nor bad sides, sitting happily on the fence, and leaving the rest to be explained later.

Everybody uses it. But there seems to be some discrepancy on what this familiar word really means, around the world. I've heard it used in various nationalities, except that they often gift it with a modifier in front of it. Germans (when speaking English) often use the phrase, "quite okay" and the Taiwanese have their "很OK" (very okay).

And it dawns on me that "okay" in other languages (or "origins") conveys a more positive meaning than "okay" in North American English. Maybe in the other "accents", it's derived from "AOK", which to me sounds as a higher degree of agreeability than plain old vanilla "okay". In their English, "okay" is really almost a "good" -- and ours isn't because, well, it's just "okay".

Just thought I'd share. (Now that I've typed "okay" so much, the word looks weird to me.)


Momcy said...

I know, G uses "OK" alot and I get angry at him everytime I wanted him to express more. I wonder if he is a "Critic" and nothing seems good enough for him?! Or, maybe, he thinks this will avoid conflict?? Men are strange!

Van said...

I had a book about trivia that said that OK came from when Native Indians learned the term all correct from the white folks and mispelled it oll korrect.

Ben said...

Oh, that's really interesting!

Nk said...

Waahahaa... I was just about to post that "okay" to me means "acceptable". Seems Wiki agrees with me. =)