Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Basics
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-06-2016, 11:28 PM   #1
Terri
User
 
Terri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 147
Question In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

In dialogue, should I spell out "okay" or is it "OK" ....?

Which is correct? Which do you use and why?
Does it really matter as long as I'm consistent throughout?
Terri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2016, 01:11 AM   #2
ComicBent
Member
 
ComicBent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,178
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

'OK' is best regarded as an abbreviation, though it is impossible to say, since the origin of the word is obscure. We have some similar situations with ID (identification card or papers) and IQ (intelligence quotient), and we use ID and IQ in writing dialogue, but IQ and ID only exist as abbreviations you do not have an option to spell them out. With OK you have an accepted full spelling: 'okay'.

From a logical and aesthetic standpoint, it is better to write out the word in the form of 'okay' when you use it in dialogue. That is how you see it in well-edited books, or you did back in the day before standards became so low.

By the way, the 'orl korrect' theory of the origin of 'OK/okay' seems unlikely to me.
__________________

"The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." ComicBent.
ComicBent is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2016, 01:28 AM   #3
Terri
User
 
Terri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 147
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComicBent View Post
From a logical and aesthetic standpoint, it is better to write out the word in the form of 'okay' when you use it in dialogue. That is how you see it in well-edited books, or you did back in the day before standards became so low.
Okay.

Thank you!
(off to search/replace)
Terri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2016, 05:02 AM   #4
dpaterso
Member
 
dpaterso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Caledonia
Posts: 5,552
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

I always write "okay" too, unless it's Tulsa, OK.

You used to see "O.K." a lot in novels but then periods fell out of fashion and chaos ruled the earth.
__________________
Nobody knows anything, and I'm nobody.

dpaterso is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2016, 08:03 PM   #5
Danigirl
User
 
Danigirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 105
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terri View Post
In dialogue, should I spell out "okay" or is it "OK" ....?

Which is correct? Which do you use and why?
Does it really matter as long as I'm consistent throughout?
Thanks for asking this question. I was wondering, too.
Danigirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2016, 08:50 PM   #6
StoryWriter
Member
 
StoryWriter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,055
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

I suspect the answer to may be "Either is OK (or okay) but be consistent with it.

I used to always write "okay", but thought that might not be... right. So I checked it the "official sources" and it appeared OK was used twice as often as okay, so I went with that. I never have been that excited by the way it looks though. "OK" looks like it's shouting at us for no particular reason.

I am amazed, when I watch the subtitles on a foreign film, how often "OK" appears.

From Grammarist.com:
"OK vs. okay
Okay, OK, and O.K. are all acceptable spellings of the word. OK is more common in edited writing, but okay appears about a third of the time. O.K. is preferred by a few publications, including the New York Times, even though it is not an abbreviation of anything in modern use."

Another site says "Consult your style-sheets'.

For what it's worth.
__________________
"I just couldn't live in a world without me."
StoryWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2016, 05:41 PM   #7
ComicBent
Member
 
ComicBent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,178
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

Quote:
OK is more common in edited writing, but okay appears about a third of the time.
"Edited" writing can include a lot of things, including advertising copy and technical works. OK is certainly common in advertising.

Yes, OK and O.K. and okay are all considered acceptable. No dispute. But such a statement ignores the context. OK is just not what you find in dialogue in works that have undergone editing that follows publishing standards. If the New York Times wants O.K., then fine. Do it that way for that publication. I also remember the days when newspapers following the AP style wanted strange spellings like employe instead of employee, and whisky (British spelling, I think) instead of whiskey, because those unusual spellings were shorter. I do not think that the AP recommends those different spellings anymore.

I would invite anyone who doubts that okay is preferable in literary work to pick up some hard copies of novels, published by real publishing houses, and start perusing. By literary work, I mean fiction, essays, and nonfiction books such as biographies and historical studies. You will find that okay is far and away more common in dialogue. In fact, I am not sure that I have ever seen OK in that context in a novel, though it is possible that examples exist, because we no longer live in a culture that uses real standards.

I picked up three literary works from my own library and flipped through the pages randomly. In one work, I was never able to find OK or okay at all. In the other two, the spelling was okay.

Those two works were:

Death in Paradise, a novel by Robert B. Parker, who is a prominent writer of detective novels and the creator of the Spenser character.

Teeth, a one-act play by Tina Howe, in a collection of one-act plays published in the 1990s. Some information on Tina Howe:
Tina Howe (born November 21, 1937) is an American playwright. Over a career spanning more than three decades, Howe's best-known works are Painting Churches, Coastal Disturbances and Pride's Crossing.

Her works have won numerous awards, including the 1998 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play for Pride's Crossing, which was also a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Coastal Disturbances was nominated for the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play.
As for experts in grammar ... I am usually flabbergasted at the sources that people cite as their experts. I speak as someone who has a master's degree in English, who has a PhD in comparative literature, who has written many scholarly papers for courses in graduate school, who used to teach English grammar and composition at the university level, who in a previous career wrote hundreds of stories for newspaper publication, and who has worked as a freelance editor.

In any case, use whatever strikes your fancy, but I will certainly follow tradition and use okay in dialogue and OK for computer buttons or other technical directions.
__________________

"The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." ComicBent.
ComicBent is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2016, 04:15 AM   #8
Why One
Member
 
Why One's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,774
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

I's write "okay". OK if I was saving space.
Why One is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2016, 10:33 AM   #9
EvilRbt
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,174
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

As a general rule, spelling everything out in dialogue.

OK - okay
4 - four
Etc. - etcetera

The only exception is if a character utters a date, phone number or numerical address, something that would be truly awkward to spell out.
__________________
.

NOTES / COVERAGE
10,000+ Screenplays
DD Thread Facebook
screenplaymechanic@gmail.com
EvilRbt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2016, 05:12 AM   #10
dpaterso
Member
 
dpaterso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Caledonia
Posts: 5,552
Default Re: In Dialogue: OK vs okay?

Saw this on Reddit's "Today I Learned":
Quote:
TIL that the word "ok" as we know it today, as a synonym for "alright", is only about 175 years old. It was originally written as a joke that went viral in 1839 by a Boston editorial writer satirizing people's bad grammar and use of abbreviations, and was an abbreviation for "oll korrect".
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-...ago-180953258/
__________________
Nobody knows anything, and I'm nobody.

dpaterso is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker