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20 Jul 2021

Ok vs. Okay – which one is correct?

Two yellow doors with OK sign
Manual subtitles
Manual transcription

Language is dynamic, and it is always something exciting learning about the dynamism that each language presents. The English language is no different. As a speaker and learner of this popular language, you come across a situation that seems tricky and demands careful attention. In situations like this, people use what is known as an eye test. This is a way of using what you have seen about the changes in the language to assume and judge the dilemma before you. Sometimes, it works, and some other times, it doesn’t. One of such dilemmas is the variation that exists in the usage of the words “OK” and “Okay.” Many have questions about the use of these two words. Which is right, “OK” or “Okay?” What is the difference between OK and Okay? How do you spell Ok? Here are some of the questions that learners of the language seek to answer. This article is here to provide those answers. It will also reveal some interesting facts about the usage of OK and Okay. Before that, let us start with the origin of the word.

OK or Okay: Which came first?

When you consider other English words, you find that a word that seems like the abbreviated version of the other always comes after the original word. In simple terms, the original word comes before the abbreviated version. This makes the situation before us quite interesting. It is one of those cases where a simple “eye test” would fail. Did you know that “OK” came first, and it’s not an abbreviation of the word “Okay?” Well, now you know. In fact, “Okay” was derived from “OK.” The next thing one would want to know is how that came about. Understanding the origin of “OK” in the English language would help to clear some confusion.

What is the origin of “OK”?

It all started with the phrase “all correct.” As stated earlier, English is dynamic, and that played a part here. In the mid-1800s, most speakers of the language were pronouncing the phrase above as “oil korrect” or “orl korrect.” Then from pronunciation, it went into writing. After much writing usage, the two words’ initials were adopted, and that was the birth of “OK.” In addition, something happened at that time that contributed to the establishment of OK in the English language. Let’s go back in time to a bit of political history.

President Martin Van Buren of the United States was running for reelection. This president was from Kinderhook in New York. He had the nickname “Old Kinderhook.” He adopted the name for his reelection and soon shortened it to “OK.” Though, in the end, everything was not OK with “OK.” He lost. However, his campaign, the buzz around the election made the word popular throughout the country. While President OK was finding his way out of the office, “OK” was finding its way into the dictionary.

What is the origin of “Okay”?

The word Okay emerged a few decades after the “OK” incident. This is according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It was invented as a way of spelling the word in a way that looks more formal and acceptable. This might be because “OK” looks like an abbreviation. But for whatever reason, the word “Okay” came around, and it’s here to stay. Now that the origin is clear, people tend to wonder which one is right.

Which is right: OK or Okay?

Both are right and can be used interchangeably. People tend to assume that Okay is more formal. However, many popular brands and companies have been seen using either OK or Okay on their website and in their written speech. Wall Street Journal and The Guardian both use “OK” in their publications, while others like Reuters, New York Times, The Star-Ledger all use “Okay.” So, for most, it’s definitely in terms of preference. You can use the one you prefer.

What is the difference between OK and Okay?

There is no difference in terms of use and role. Both can be used as a noun, verb, and adjective. Due to their versatile usage, you often find that some people use them in different contexts. For example, you might find that statements like “the teacher okays the use of abbreviation in his assignment” are more common in writing than “the teacher OKs the use of abbreviation in his assignment.” Both are right. However, one important point to note is consistency in writing. If you decide to start with “OK”, it is better to maintain it throughout the text. The same goes for “Okay”.


Now that you know all there is to know about OK and Okay. The issue of transcription comes up. When there is audio content or video content with the speaker using those words, how do you transcribe them correctly and with the needed consistency? Some content lasts for hours, and it is very difficult to do the transcription yourself. Now that’s where we come in.

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Manual Transcription

One of our services aimed at bridging the gap between spoken words and written text is the use of manual transcription. Manual transcription allows you to work with our professionals and have your transcription tailored to your satisfaction. How does it work?

How can you transcribe using Amberscript?

You can get your manual transcription done in these simple steps:

  1. Visit our website and register or log in.
  2. Upload your files into the dashboard.
  3. Choose your language of choice, and number of speakers.
  4. Select manual transcription. You can indicate your preference. For example, you can state that you prefer “OK” or “Okay.” You can make other preferences.
  5. The text is automatically generated.

This is where our professionals come in. They perfect the text. They help to distinguish the speakers using variations in sizes, fonts, and others. A quality checker would check the final result.

The resulting text is sent to you in an editable format. You can export after checking that all is to your satisfaction. The available format includes Word, JSON, and others.

With those simple steps, you have a quality transcription at your disposal ready for professional use.


If you have created visual content and include interviews, social media content, seminars, and the likes, it is important to add subtitles to your content. Subtitles help you get the message across to a wider audience. However, your content might have different speakers using the word “OK.” 

Amberscript online editor with video view

This is another one of our excellent services. We allow users to tailor the subtitle of their video content to their preference. It is about what you want and what you feel is okay for your audience. You can work with our expert subtitlers to perfect your subtitle file.

How to use our manual subtitle?

  1. Visit our website and register or log in.
  2. Upload the files on the dashboard provided.
  3. Choose your preferred language from the numerous options available. First, you indicate the language of the video and then the language needed for the subtitle.
  4. Select manual subtitles service.
  5. Our speech recognition software generates subtitles. Then our experts help to make the necessary changes and adjustments to the generated subtitle.

The final subtitle is checked for errors using a quality checker. There are two options for exporting the file. Either you download the video with the subtitle as one file or download the subtitle separately in formats like Text, SRT, VTT, or EBU-STL, and others.

You can also get timestamps and speaker distinction.

Just like that! You have a well-edited subtitle to go with your video.

Why Us?

We offer you the best and the most reliable services that give you the needed satisfaction. We aim to make your work easier. Transcription or subtitle, the goal is to ease your workload.

Here are some reasons why you should consider working with us.

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  • Our transcription process is done in minutes.

“OK” and “Okay.” Both are correct. Your preference will determine what you go for. Now that you know that they are both acceptable, go ahead and use our transcription services to convert your content into the text of your choosing. One form of the word that might not be acceptable is “ok.” This is because the original word came from initials, so it is maintained in capital letters. The best bit about language is its dynamism, and we are here to enjoy it.

Our services allow you to create text and subtitles from audio or video.
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