Jacksonville Author: Dr. Allan Metcalf

We are pleased to carry the books of Jacksonville author Allan Metcalf, Ph.D., Professor of English at MacMurray College.

OK, Alan MetcalfOK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word

It is said to be the most frequently spoken (or typed) word on the planet, more common than an infant’s first word ma or the ever-present beverage Coke . It was even the first word spoken on the moon. It is “OK”– the most ubiquitous and invisible of American expressions, one used countless times every day. Yet few of us know the secret history of OK–how it was coined, what it stood for, and the amazing extent of its influence.

Allan Metcalf, a renowned popular writer on language, here traces the evolution of America’s most popular word, writing with brevity and wit, and ranging across American history with colorful portraits of the nooks and crannies in which OK survived and prospered.
(Publisher Blurb, Oxford University Press)

Read the New York Times Book Review: NYT Book Review

Listen to Metcalf’s National Public Radio interview:NPR interview

Other books by Dr. Metcalf:

America in So Many Words: Words That Have Shaped America, Houghton Mifflin, 1997

World in So Many Words, Houghton Mifflin, 1999

How We Talk: American Regional English Today, Houghton Mifflin, 2000

Predicting New Words: The Secrets of Their Success, Houghton Mifflin, 2002

Presidential Voices, Houghton Mifflin, 2004


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