Title text: After changing it back and forth several times and consulting with internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch, I settled on "ok" in my book How To, but I'm still on the fence. Maybe I should just switch to "oK."
This comic states how you 'sound' (as the typical narrative voice in your readers' collective heads) based on how you spell the word "OK" in your text.
The word "OK", per Wikipedia, "is an American English word denoting approval, acceptance, agreement, assent, acknowledgment, or a sign of indifference." Many etymologies have been proposed to explain its origin. The Oxford English Dictionary and most other modern dictionaries say that it began in 1839 as "O.K.", a fanciful abbreviation for "oll korrect" (all correct).
According to Randall, modern usage is to either have both letters in lowercase "ok", or the expression as a single word, with the sounds spelled phonetically: "okay". Using OK with both capital letters is kind of old, as the expression is almost never thought of as an abbreviation anymore. The original spelling of the word as "O.K." with periods after the letters is less commonly used in modern times, so Randall equates this usage to "an alien impersonating a human". (See for instance the last picture in this comic, 1530: Keyboard Mash for who might use that spelling).
In the title text Gretchen McCulloch, a Canadian Internet linguist, is mentioned. She focuses on trends in use of English words in online communications. Randall claims that he consulted with her on the use of "ok" in his book How To and after changing back and forth between different options he settles for "ok". But he is still unsure which version to use, and claims he is now considering switching to "oK.", a strange spelling that "compromises" between the three abbreviations, having one lowercase letter, one capital letter, and only one period. And ending the sentence with an abbreviation with a period inside the quotation marks also makes it uncertain if he means "oK" or "oK." as that can be debated. This was most likely on purpose knowing Randall's love for grammar rule and spelling. It is of course debated in this explanations discussion.
Wikipedia says, "Whether this word is printed as OK, Ok, ok, okay, or O.K. is a matter normally resolved in the style manual for the publication involved." So luckily Randall did not settle for "oK." or "oK" in his book, which are not among the mentioned versions.
- [Four different ways to write the word "okay" are presented with a caption below each version.]
- Kind of old
- Like an alien impersonating a human
- [Caption below the panel:]
- How your spelling of "okay" makes you sound
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He forgot the eternal joke - 0K
Come on Randall, you're a person of science220.127.116.11 11:25, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
I think this should have been a table. Put spellings down the side (I've seen a lot of "oki" online; maybe "A-OK" too, or some humorous misspelling) and possible permutations of punctuations and capitalisation across the top. I want to know how "o.k.ay." makes you sound :p
Angel (talk) 17:41, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
- But when you do a single word response, it should just be, "k".
- Hax (talk)
- "'kay" is better, but I've also seen "'k" -- highlighting, perhaps, that the "o" is supposed to be there even if people are lazy and cut off too much when speaking and writing. 18.104.22.168 06:43, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
- I'm totally fine with "k" - I even use it while speaking. It originates (afaik) from Internet chats generalically and chats in gaming specifically where time efficiency is of essence (you don't deal many headshots while typing ;) ). Another form would be "kk", which is still shorter (to type) than "ok" but is more emphasized as "k". And then - of course - we have Mr Mackey, mkay... Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 08:55, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
- If it's not capitalized, I'm definitely imagining the person making clucking noises, even if I know that's not what they meant... Doesn't everybody read "ok" phonetically, as "ock", as in grok? ;S
- ProphetZarquon (talk) 21:42, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
As of this writing, the title text is wrong. I don't know how to edit it. The current explainXKCD version ends with ("oK".). But the xkcd website ends with ("oK.") The location of the period within the quote changes the meaning of this comment. Agrasin (talk) 20:43, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
- Good catch! I edited it. I was the one who put it in wrong in the first place as well. I had to insert the quotes manually, when I copy-pasted the title text from the inspect tool of xkcd.com and made this error. Things like the title text or the date can be edited easily when you use the edit button on top of the page instead of the small one at the explanation/transcript. --Lupo (talk) 21:13, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
- The period's placement does not necessarily change the meaning of the sentence as its inclusion within the quotation marks does not imply it is part of the quote. Punctuation immediately following a quote goes inside the quotation marks under English grammar. 22.214.171.124 21:23, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
- That's a ridiculously bad rule & I'd hope nobody actually does that. Punctuation should only go inside the quotation marks if it's part of the quote. To put punctuation in where it wasn't used muddles whether the punctuation is part of the quote or part of the sentence containing the quote, & offers no possible benefit to comprehension. Bad rule: Don't do that.
- ProphetZarquon (talk) 21:37, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
- Totally agree although I suspect that english grammar is not supposed to be logical. Also, I think using "oK" would be good idea. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:03, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
- However, it looks much nicer and mimics proper handwriting, where the comma sign is directly underneath the quotation mark. It's considered proper form for American English, whereas Brits put it outside.
- 126.96.36.199 23:06, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
- No, that's only for comma signs. Periods go inside if it's a part of the quote, outside if it isn't, and in both places if you end your sentence with a quote. "This quoted sentence ends with a period.".
- 188.8.131.52 23:06, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
- I have never seen a double period like that anywhere. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 05:15, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
- In SWE (Standard Written (American) English), commas and ending punctuation go inside closing quotation marks (probably originating from typewriters allowing a comma and a period to be put _under_ the closing quotation marks). This rule holds true in American English unless there's a very good reason to leave the punctuation on the outside.
- There is a difference between the two following sentences:
- * The teacher said, "There is no test!" (the exclamation point belongs to the teacher's statement)
- * The teacher said, "There is no test"! (the exclamation point belongs to the narrator's statement)
- For cases where there would be ambiguity or a presumed reason to use both external and internal punctuation, writers are advised to rewrite the sentence. There is no grammatical/conventional basis for the following:
- * Did the teacher ask, "Who's there?"?
- Do note that other than commas, punctuation that is not ending punctuation (commonly dashes, colons, semicolons) or containers (parens, brackets, etc) -- depending on how they're used -- belong outside the quotation marks.
- Perhaps the British standard of putting all punctuation on the outside unless it explicitly belongs to the quoted material is more logical, but until some major style manuals in the USA adopt it, it won't be legit in SWE.
- Circling back to the original point (ending with '"oK."' vs '"oK".'), that's one of those situations where the sentence should be reworded to avoid the ambiguity on whether the period belongs to the quoted abbreviation or not.184.108.40.206 18:01, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
- I never paid much attention to this before, but now I see "it." On 2251 Randall follows the same style and puts in punctuaction inside the "quotation marks." --Lupo (talk) 15:09, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
This is kind of like the LEGO bridge question in What If. 220.127.116.11 18:32, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
I just added the bit about the readers' narrative voices (see comments for additional thoughts), but my parenthsisised justification for the 'quoting' looks a bit clunky even to me. Further changes (or at least partial reversion) are welcome, and in fact invited... Fill your boots! 18.104.22.168 20:15, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
I’m not sure about everyone else, but I was *really* weirded out when Randall used ‘ok’ in How To. Like, it threw me off and I had to reread a couple times. I was very surprised. 22.214.171.124 14:11, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
My favorite is O-KAYYYYYYYYY! Rtanenbaum (talk) 15:05, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
Hang the fuck on...capitalised looks old, while spelt out in lower case is normal? Really? REALLY? Quote conventions schmote conventions - I'll use whatever style a client dictates, like the obedient little paycheck-chasing copywriter that I am - but "OK" is pretty much universal as far as I'm concerned.
I'm going to cling to this being a transatlantic difference, to "OK" being normal, to "ok" being a typo, to clamping my hands over my ears and saying "Lalala I'm not listening" to anyone who says otherwise, and to thumping anyone who pulls said hands from said ears square in the nose.Yorkshire Pudding (talk) 20:39, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
- Maybe you are just kind of... old? Many people who are just using chat programs, especially on the phone, do not bother with using the shift key at all. So it seems to be quite common to use lower case for a word that isn't even an abbrevation anymore, but just a regular word. ok? --Lupo (talk) 07:27, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
- As I believe I pointed out before: Lalala I'm not listening. That said though...I get it, but whether it's an abbreviation or not isn't really the be-all & end-all of whether it's capitalised. Names aren't abbreviations and they're capitalised...usually...while e.g. and i.e. (et al) are abbreviations and they aren't. It's all just convention, and conventions change, often via a period of people doing it "wrongly" before it's accepted. I think the existence of this comic and the ensuing discussion proves we're still in the transitional period...although it seems we may be much further through it than I thought. Yorkshire Pudding (talk) 16:54, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
New comic up
The new comic is already up. As the bot is not working, someone has to insert it manually. It is quite easy with a bit of trial and error and the tutorial on User:DgbrtBOT. It should be done by a user who is on here for a time with an account (and has by that earned the right to upload files.) - I will not be able to do so myself within the next ~10 hours, as I will not be on my own computer. --Lupo (talk) 08:21, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
- I just made an account to do this before i checked this talk page lol
- I've changed the List_of_all_comics page (first step on User:DgbrtBOT) but NOTHING ELSE. Ty all
- Side note: I was going to write 'LOL' before i realized the content of this comic and got self-conscious of it. Soulus (talk) 09:40, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
- I have created the new page 2251 - looking forward to your explanations, cause I'm lost on that one... --Kynde (talk) 10:52, 6 January 2020 (UTC)
Personally, I settled this question because I favor the Choctaw Indian origin for the the word "okay", which means it comes from "okeh", and therefore it makes sense to spell it out as "okay". I sometimes actually spell it okeh, but only to people who'd be able to figure out what I mean. —Kazvorpal (talk) 16:58, 23 January 2020 (UTC)