Ohio History Journal

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0. K.




The above is the most used form of expression in the Com-

mercial world, and is used in the United States oftener, perhaps,

in conversation, than any other purely arbitrary expression in the

English language.

It has no classic origin or derivation; it has no linguistic,

Greek or Latin, root: it cannot be claimed for it even the dig-

nity of an American slang birth: nor is it an abbreviation of an

established expression or form of words properly found in any

language. Its universally accepted meaning is well understood,

yet not until recently has any dictionary or lexicon given it a

place, or undertaken to tell its significance. It is used to attest the

accuracy, genuineness, or approval of whatever it is placed upon.

It is not usually used in composition, or in connection with other

words, or phrases. Its meaning is so ample and complete that it

defies misunderstanding, and requires no qualifying words to

explain or amplify it. It is used, literally, around the world.

Not only the business men in banks, mercantile houses, private

business offices, insurance companies, etc., in America, use 0. K.

to avouch the correctness of statements, accounts, bills of all

kinds, etc., but the American and English legations, consuls, etc.

in all countries where they are found, especially in all parts of

the world in which ships enter and depart, use the same 0. K.

to express their approval of all official business documents or

papers. In all the principal and subordinate departments of our

government, 0. K. is now in more or less common use by offi-

cials and clerks to attest their approval, satisfaction or the ac-

curacy of whatever they favorably pass judgment upon. Its use

extends to wherever the English language is used, but

more particularly in connection with trade and commerce.  It

has no synonym; nor no substitute; it stands unique, and alone,