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Ok
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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

About the Author

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.

Reviews

"Metcalf has produced a complete and completely entertaining history of the most American of all expressions. More than 'just OK' -- revelatory and engrossing."--Erin McKean, CEO of wordnik.com, author of Weird and Wonderful Words, More Weird and Wonderful Words, and former Editor-in-Chief, Oxford American Dictionaries "Metcalf has written an appealing and informative history of OK." -- Washington Post Book World "Fun and educational!"--Language Hat "Have a look at Professor Metcalf's book yourself. It's worth your time."--You Don't Say "I think you'll find the yarn Metcalf spins to be far better than OK...So get this book, OK? If you love words, history, or Americana, you'll find it fascinating."--Mark Peters, Good.com "Metcalf's entertaining linguistic history is a treat for logophiles."--Kirkus Reviews "Engagingly written as well as thoroughly researched."-- Arnold Zwicky's Blog "Metcalf has done a remarkable job of imparting the life and times of a word that began as a joke and ended up 'the most frequently spoken (or typed) word on the planet.' Touching on its history; its use in politics, literature, and business; its tiny stature and impressive reach; and even how it reflects culture and identity, Metcalf has written an unbelievably OK book."--PopMatters.com "I highly recommend the book...as a nice read. This is exactly the kind of book...that people who call themselves 'language lovers' should read ... it's clear and accessible and gives non-specialists...a good picture of how to think about language history and language use. And Metcalf writes in a really easy style."--Mr. Verb "Metcalf's book is an enjoyable addition to the shelfload of books prompting us to reconsider everyday things--from appliances to the moon overhead to the air we breathe. His book, in fact, isn't just enjoyable--that's right, it's better than OK."--Los Angeles Times "This biography-covering the history of an oft-overlooked word-is more than 'just okay.' In fact, it's pretty darn entertaining."--Failure Magazine "The seventeen chapters of this handy little book set forth everything about OK one could reasonably ask to know...It is an impressively worthy biography, description, and analysis of what Metcalf calls 'America's greatest word.' It is a book full of entertaining facts and intriguing suggestions about the American psyche, which the history of OK illuminates...The book is full of life, highly readable, a page-turner...It is a sterling example of what linguistic scholarship can, and should, be for the general reader." --Dictionaries

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