Monday, April 01, 2002

The History of a Word

Encapsulated into any word there lies a history, not only of that word, but of the people who use that word. We use words as the coin of time-binding, making it possible to pass on meaning to those not present either in space or time. But words also tell a story about the time in which they evolved, the people who first used them in a certain context and even the meaning intended by those speakers.

In the following article, taken from a segment on NPR's Morning Edition, Neva Grant uses research by Allan Walker Read to trace the origin and original meaning of the phrase "OK". The story tells us as much or more about the era as about the word itself.

'OK', Present at the Creation