Re: English Only (was: New Mexico bilingualism)

Iain Walker (iainw@SUE.ECON.SU.OZ.AU)
Fri, 30 Aug 1996 13:23:21 +1100

On Thu, 29 Aug 1996, marsha chuk wrote:

> On Fri, 30 Aug 1996, Iain Walker wrote:
> > I wonder how many words in the English language _aren't_ derived from
> > other languages. The list would be very short. I think "okay" would
> > qualify. :^)

> Hold onto your shortlist!
> The term OK (19th cent) may come from the OK Club, 1840, founded by
> supporters of Martin Van Buren for president of the U.S. And this Dutch
> descendent's birthplace was a part of New York settled by the Dutch called
> Oud Kinderhoek -> Old Kinderhook -> OK.

No, no, OK were the initials of the fellow who checked the cars coming
off the GM assembly line way back when. If he chalked his initials on
the windscreen, you knew the car had been inspected (OK'ed). I think
his name was O'Keefe.

Cue for a discussion of urban myths...

Iain Walker * Dept. of Anthropology * University of Sydney *

"L'homme qui a deux femmes perd son ame;
"L'homme qui a deux maisons perd sa raison"
"mdru ukana hahe na ha nduhuze"