Commonly Misused Words: OK

October 20, 2005: Issue 110

It’s “OK.” No periods, and not spelled out (okay). While it’s fine as an adjective or a noun, note that “OK” can be awkward as a verb when you try to add an -ed or an -ing.

acceptable: After she OK’d the plans, the crew went to work.
preferred: After she approved the plans, the crew went to work.

As an introductory particle tacked on to the beginning of a sentence, “OK” is meaningless and usually dispensable.

acceptable: OK, so you’ve decided to paint.
preferred: So you’ve decided to paint.

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