Allan Metcalf, Ph.D., Professor of English, MacMurray College, Illinois
How to Celebrate
The idea behind OK Day is to recognize a word that came to be much like today’s OMG and LOL. It is considered one of the most spoken and typed words in the world. The first use of OK was in the Boston Morning Post in 1837 when an editor wrote it as a joke to stand for “Orl Korrect” as a misspelling of “all correct”. It became “viral” in 1840 when an alternate use of OK was associated with President Martin Van Buren. Being from Kinderhook, New York, he was given the nickname “Old Kinderhook”. As a result, his supporters formed clubs called “OK Clubs”. So, go about today saying “OK” a little more than usual or watch some OK Go videos.
To honor this day we are featuring a can of OK Cola from 1994. Coca-Cola released a series of these cans from 1993 to 1995. It was marketed as “A unique fruity soda” toward Generation X. The design was an anti-marketing campaign with grey and silver color, cartoonish figures and text that didn’t mean anything and included a 1-800 number which provided odd trivia.
Happy OK Day (3/23)!