I’m OK, you’re okay

Like many newspapers in the United States, The N&O follows the Associated Press Stylebook. For copy editors, the stylebook is the word of the elders — absolute law to be violated for good reason only. The stylebook tells us how to spell certain words. One entry is about the word “OK.”Some writers spell this handy Americanism as “O.K.” or “okay,” and that’s fine in other contexts. But we follow AP style: OK, OKs, OK’ing and OK’d. The form “OK’d” is in a headline this morning (June 16): “Patriot Act limits OK’d.The dictionary says that “OK” was coined in 1839 by a newspaper editor who abbreviated the term “oll korrect,” a deliberately funny misspelling of “all correct.” (I love it when the origin of the word is attributed to a newspaper editor — especially one with a sense of humor!)

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.