Wake Up and Smell the Coffee: Okay is not always okay

Okay – four letters, simple but effective.

The power of the word “Okay” is undeniable.  By my observation, it seems that “Okay” can effectively start and abruptly end a conversation.  It can act as a question and be its own answer.  It can signify agreement or even unintentionally spark a confrontation.  We use the word everyday and in various forms — okay, ok, in text lingo as k.

Okay?  Okay, here we go.

Where did the expression come from anyway?  Okay, an article on Wikipedia suggests different origins of the word.  Wherever it came from, “Okay” is bound to cause any of the actions I mentioned above.

Like, how? Okay, here are some examples:

1)  Start a conversation:

Scene:  Any random situation that you find yourself in and you’re conveniently positioned between two people.

You:  (Observe whatever’s happening, then look at the person left or right of you)

“Okaaaay, did you see that? That was amazing!” (or insert whatever random comment about something you just saw)

2)  End a conversation (for convenience, I’ll continue the scene mentioned in the previous item):

Other person:  “Okay.”

You sink back into your chair and say to yourself, “Okay, shutting up.”

3)  Start an argument with “Okay”

The simplest way that this happens is when someone does something for someone and a lot of effort went into making that something happen.  When the recipient of the deed is asked what he or she thought of it and the reply is just a simple, “It’s okay,” expect some feelings to be hurt and, most common in relationships, sparks to fly.

You can try it by simply replying “Okay” to any long-winded compliment or trumpeting of a favor done for you.  Most likely you’ll get this kind of response, “After all I have said and done for you, that’s all you can say?”

This usually works best on wives or girlfriends.  Okay…husbands, too.

Possible idea for next blog entry:
Long remarks need long replies, and vice versa, or why you should not answer a simple question with anything that resembles a lecture.
Possible excerpt:
Question: Are you hungry?

Answer: With the grumbling of my stomach, it appears that my gastric acids are quite active.  That could mean that some chemical will send a trigger signal to my brain indicating that my body will need some nourishment soon.  I think with those body chemicals at work, it could possibly mean that, yes, I am hungry.

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