America's Greatest Word

Listening activity, National Public Radio

The ABCs of OK :
It is said to be the most frequently spoken (or typed) word on the planet, bigger even than an infant's ma or Coke.
And it was the first word spoken on the moon.
It's America's answer to Shakespeare.
It's an entire philosophy expressed in two letters.
It's very odd, but it's . . . OK.

Length : 6.22 minutes

Listen to the radio interview and say whether the following ideas are mentioned or not.

1. OK is the world's most popular word.
2.The word appeared in a comic strip in the Boston Morning Post
3.In 1839 OK was used as part of a political campaign.
4.Other abbreviations were popular at the time.
5.Many thought that Martin van Buren was the person who invented the word.
6.President Andrew Jackson had made a spelling mistake.
7.The telegraph contributed to OK's popularity.
8.OK is at present largely used in text messages.
9.Mark Twain used it in his works.
10.The author of Little Women used it once and then changed it.
11.President Woodrow Wilson had a university education.
12.OK represents the American attitude.
13.The phrase "I'm OK, you're OK" represents American pragmatism.
14.Many people don't realize how often they say OK.
15.March 23rd 2012 is officially OK Day.

Click here for the full transcript

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