I really can’t figure this one out. Is it OK or okay?
There are really different etymologies that are widely regarded as most probable. The TRUE etymology will, in turn, lead us to a TRUE answer.
First and second, it is suggested that during a presidential campaign in the mid 19th century and was short for “Old Kinderhook” or “Orl Korrect”.
The third, and seemingly less popular is that OK is a variant on U.S. black slave dialect of ‘Kay’ as a response. It wasn’t short for anything. It just IS a word in that dialect.
There are also a few other possibilities. The Choctaw tribe had/have a word that sounds like ‘okay’. Though I highly doubt English speaking colonists heard the word and thought, “Oh, they have no fear of God, no concepts of personal property, and no real army…Let’s kill them, take their land, and oh, wow, did you hear that dandy word they were using ‘okay’? Let’s use that, but destroy everything else they created.” Yeah, I don’t see that.
There are also possibilities of old Scottish or Irish phrases. Even ancient Greek phrase of Ola Kala meaning “All good”.
Now, assuming at least one of these is correct (and assuming the Choctaw was isn’t just based on sheer common sense), most etymologies suggest OK or more appropriately O.K. are accurate. I think we can all agree that O.K. is just silly. It’s just too hard to type quickly with all the periods. In all but the Scottish theory, the O and the K stand for something. Therefore, OK is appropriate. In ONLY the Scottish version do we see a phrase that SOUNDS like OK. In this case, and this case alone, okay is most appropriate.
Statistically speaking, that means “OK” is correct. That also means that “okay” is a hyper correction. Okay becomes a pseudo-real word by people who hope to look smarter by using slightly larger words.
The same can be said of “until”, “til”, and “till”. The original word is “till”, it was later changed to “until” and later still shortened to “til” for all us texting hipsters. When editors correct “till” to “until” they are actually performing a hyper correction of a word. “Till” is the original AND still used word.
However, this doesn’t stop everyone on the PLANET from correcting my “till” to “until” and my “OK” to “okay”.