Are you OK or Okay?

In today’s world of shortened text speech, it can be difficult to know whether something is an abbreviation or an actual word. OMG, FYI, and LOL have all been in the oxford dictionary since 2011, but it’s pretty obvious that they shouldn’t be used in formal writing. For other terms, it’s harder to determine what is correct. Such is the case with OK and Okay. Why are there two of them and which should you use?

It may surprise you to hear, but OK is not an abbreviated version of Okay; it’s actually the opposite. Back in 1839, the English language picked up quite a few slang terms, one of which was oll korrect, a deliberately humorous misspelling of all correct. It was then shortened to OK. As the term grew and spread, a new phonetic spelling was created—Okay.

The good thing about this term is that both mean exactly the same thing, and either spelling is perfectly acceptable in any type of writing. The only rule is to be consistent or, if you can’t decide, pick a synonym.

Now you can rest easy knowing you can’t get it wrong!