What’s the Real Origin of “OK”?

I came across this little discussion about the origin of the term OK and immediately thought of folks who might be researching the language we use while texting.

It seems that the practice of abbreviating words has been around for quite some time now.

It wasn’t as strange as it might seem for the author to coin OK as an abbreviation for “all correct.” There was a fashion then for playful abbreviations like i.s.b.d (it shall be done), r.t.b.s (remains to be seen), and s.p. (small potatoes). They were the early ancestors of OMG, LOL, and tl;dr. A twist on the trend was to base the abbreviations on alternate spellings or misspellings, so “no go” was k.g. (know go) and “all right” was o.w. (oll write). 

You can read the entire article at What’s the Real Origin of “OK”? | Mental Floss.

42 Old English Insults

Who doesn’t love a good insult from times gone by?! Here are ten of them to use as you see fit. But be careful to use the correctly, lest ye be cast as a lubberwort.

21. LUBBERWORT
In the 16th century, lubberwort was the name of an imaginary plant that was supposed to cause sluggishness or stupidity, and ultimately came to be used as a nickname for a lethargic, fuzzy-minded person.

MUCK-SPOUT
A dialect word for someone who not only talks a lot, but who seems to constantly swear.

MUMBLECRUST
Derived from the name of a stock character in medieval theatrical farces, a mumblecrust is a toothless beggar.

QUISBY
In Victorian English, doing quisby meant shirking from work or lazing around. A quisby was someone who did just that.

RAGGABRASH
A disorganized or grubby person.

RAKEFIRE
A visitor who outstays his or her welcome. Originally, someone who stays so late the dying coals in the fireplace would need to be raked over just to keep it burning.

ROIDERBANKS
Someone who lives beyond their means, or seems to spend extravagantly.

SADDLE-GOOSE
Saddling geese is a proverbially pointless exercise, so anyone who wastes their time doing it—namely, a saddle-goose—must be an imbecile.

SCOBBERLOTCHER
Probably derived from scopperloit, an old English dialect word for a vacation or a break from work, a scobberlotcher is someone who never works hard.

SMELL-FEAST
Someone who turns up uninvited at a meal or party and expects to be fed.

You can find more at 42 Old English Insults | Mental Floss.

Language and Love Life (ooh, la, la)

National Public Radio recently spoke with Dr. James Pennebaker, who does research in the way “function” words work in our language . . . and our love life!

Specifically, what Pennebaker found was that when the language style of two people matched, when they used pronouns, prepositions, articles and so forth in similar ways at similar rates, they were much more likely to end up on a date.

You can read and listen to the whole story on the NPR web site.

Our Use Of Little Words Can, Uh, Reveal Hidden Interests : Shots – Health News : NPR.

Prepositional Phrases and Wordiness

Revise the following passage to make it more concise by eliminating prepositional phrases:

Plaque has almost become a household word in this country. It is certainly a household problem for most people. But even though everyone is affected by it every day few people really understand the seriousness of plaque in their daily lives or the importance of controlling it. Plaque is an almost invisible sticky film of bacteria that in the case of all of us continuously forms throughout the day and night. Plaque germs are constantly multiplying and building up on the teeth. Any dentist will tell you that controlling plaque from forming is the single most important step to better oral health for people everywhere.