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我们为什么要说OK – 译学馆
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我们为什么要说OK

Why we say “OK”

我们经常听到一个双子母单词
There’s a two-letter word that we hear everywhere.
它就是OK
OK.
OK OK
Okay. OK,
安妮 你还OK吗?
are you OK Annie?
OK OK OK OK 女士们
OK OK OK, OK ladies…
OK可能是地球上最容易辨认的单词
OK might be the most recognizable word onthe planet.
OK!
OK!
OK
OK.
OK对于我们与人甚至科技产品的
It’s essential to how we communicate with each other,
沟通都很重要
and even with our technology.
亚历克斯 关掉客厅的灯
Alexa, turn off the living room light.
OK
OK.
OK渗透在你的日常生活中
You probably use it every day
即使你没有意识到这一点
even if you don’t notice it.
但是OK到底是什么意思呢?
But what does OK actually mean?
这个词又来源于哪里呢?
And where did it come from?
嗯 OK
Hm. OK.
那OK
Okay then.
OK 谢谢
OK, thank you.
其实 OK起源于18世纪30年代
OK actually traces back to an 1830s
一种故意拼错缩写的风尚
fad of intentionally misspelling abbreviations.
在波士顿 年轻的“知识分子”
Young “ intellectual ” types in Boston
用打乱的编码取悦“消息灵通”的人
delighted those “ in the know ” with butchered coded
如KC 是“knuff ced”的缩写
messages such as KC, or “ knuff ced ”,
KY 是“know yuse”的缩写
KY, “ know yuse, ”
还有OW 是“oll wright”的缩写
and OW, “ oll wright. ”
哈哈
Haha.
但是多亏了几次幸运的转机
But thanks to a couple of lucky breaks,
一个缩写词脱颖而出
one abbreviation rose above the rest:
即OK或者叫做“oll korrect”
OK, or “oll korrect.”
在19世纪早期
In the early 1800s,
“all correct”是一个常用的词组
“ all correct ” was a common phrase
用于确认一切都很顺利
used to confirm that everything was in order.
1839年3月23日
Its abbreviated cousinstarted
OK第一次出现在“波士顿早报”上
going mainstream on March 23, 1839,
自此以后 OK开始成为主流
when OK was first published in the Boston Morning Post.
很快其他报纸都在报道这个词
Soon other papers picked up on the joke
并且传播到全国各地
and spread it around the country,
直到不再是波士顿某些“消息灵通”的圈子
until OK was something everyone knew about,
而是所有人都知道这个词
not just a few Boston insiders.
并且OK的普及甚至促使一个
And OK’s newfound popularity
来自纽约肯德胡克的总统
even prompted a flailing US president from Kinderhook, New York,
把它当作1840年总统连任竞选期间的昵称
to adopt it as a nickname during his1840 reelection campaign.
范布伦的支持者们在全国建立了OK俱乐部
Van Buren’s supporters formed OK Clubs all over the country,
并且他们的口号十分明了
and their message was pretty clear:
老肯德胡克“oll korrect”
Old Kinderhook was “oll korrect.”
这个运动被媒体大力宣传 最终变成了不好的事
The campaign was highly publicized and turned pretty nasty in the press.
他的竞争对手最后将这一缩写转而针对他
His opponents ended up turning the abbreviation around on him,
说它代表着
saying it stood for
“Orful Konspiracy”或者“orful Katastrophe”
“ Orful Konspiracy” or “Orful Katastrophe”
哈哈
Hah.
最后他又取了一个聪明的昵称
In the end, even a clever nickname
但也没有保住总统之位
didn’t save Van Buren’s presidency.
但这却是OK的胜利
But it was a win for OK.
1840年的总统大选
That 1840 presidential campaign
最终确立了OK在美国口语中的地位
firmly established OK in the American vernacular.
当其他类似的缩略词已渐渐过时
And while similar abbreviations fell out of fashion,
而OK多亏了电报机的发明
OK made the crossover from slang
从俚语转变为了合法 功能性的用途
into legitimate, functional use thanks toone invention: the telegraph.
我们按下这个电桥 电流就会流向发声器
If we lower the bridge, the current flowsto the sounder.
在另一端
At the other end,
电流激发电磁铁 吸附电枢
the current energizes an electromagnet and this attracts the armature.
这个电枢拍击下螺丝 信息就发出去了
The armature clicks down against a screw and taps out a message.
电报初次面世是在1844年
The telegraph debuted in 1844,
距离OK被创造出来只有5年
just five years after OK.
它以电脉冲的形式传送短消息
It transmitted short messages in the form of electric pulses,
用点和短划线的组合表示字母表的字母
with combinations of dots and dashes representing letters of the alphabet.
这是OK闪耀的时刻
This was OK’s moment to shine.
这两个字母非常容易被敲出来
The two letters were easy to tap out
并且非常不可能和其他字母搞混
and very unlikely to be confused with anything else.
它很快就被采纳为收到讯息的标准确认方式
It was quickly adopted as a standard acknowledgement
当时正在拓展中美国铁路的
of a transmission received, especially by
操作员们尤其喜欢这个词
operators on the expanding US railroad.
这本来自1865的电报机指南甚至说道
This telegraphic manual from 1865 even goes as far
“直到收到接收方发来OK”
as to say that “ no message is ever
“才能确认消息已发送成功”
regarded as transmitted until the office receivingit gives O K.”
OK变得越来越重要
OK had become serious business.
但有另一重要原因导致这俩字母流传至今
But there’s another big reason the two letters stuck around,
OK不仅使交流简便
and it’s not just because they’re easy to communicate.
OK的样子 或者更确切的说
It has to do with how OK looks.
字母K的样子和发音也很吸引人
Or more specifically, how the letter K looksand sounds.
以K开头的英语单词非常少见——
It’s really uncommon to start a word with the letter K in English —
它在字母中排第22位
it’s ranked around 22nd in the alphabet.
因为罕见 所以在世纪之交
That rarity spurred a “ Kraze for K ”
广告和印刷业中兴起了“迷K热”
at the turn of the century in advertising and print,
各种公司纷纷将C换成了K
where companies replaced hard Cs with Ks
来吸引注意力
in order to Katch your eye.
想法就是通过修饰单词——
The idea was that modifying a word —
例如Klearflax Linen Rugs或Kook-Rite Stove
like Klearflax Linen Rugs or this Kook-Rite Stove,
广告将能吸引更多注意
for example — would draw more attentionto it.
这也是个视觉战略:
And that’s still a visual strategy:
我们能看到许多现代商标也会使用K
We see K represented in modern corporate logos, like
例如Krispy-Kreme和Kool-Aid
Krispy-Kreme and Kool-Aid.
是因为K才使得这些商标令人印象深刻
It’s the K that makes it so memorable.
到19世纪90年代 OK的波士顿出身已经被遗忘
By the 1890s, OK’s Bostonian origins were already mostly forgotten,
并且报纸上开始争论它的历史——
and newspapers began to debate its history —
过程中会编一些传说
often perpetuating myths
有些到现在都被信以为真
in the process that some people still believe.
例如声称它来自乔克托族的“oke”
Like the claim that it comes from the Choctaw word ‘ okeh,
意为 “就是这样”
’ which means ‘ so it is. ’
是乔克托族给了我们OK一词…
Choctaw gave us the word OK…
OK的意思变得模糊不清
OK’s beginnings had become obscure but
但这已不重要了——
it didn’t really matter anymore —
因为这个单词已经嵌入了我们的语言
the word was embedded in our language. Today,
如今 我们用这个词表示最终的“中立肯定”
we use it as the ultimate “neutralaffirmative.”
那OK
OK then.
OK
Okay then.
学习真正地爱你自己
Learn to truly love yourself.
OK
OK.
OK
OK.
勇敢地站上来吧!
Get yourself up here!
OK!
OK!
我不知道说什么
I don’t know what to say.
就说OK吧
Say OK.
OK
Okay.
问题解决了!
It’s settled then!
阿伦·梅特卡夫写下了OK的确切历史
Allan Metcalf wrote the definitive history of OK,
他将这个词解释为
and he explains that the word
“不经评估的肯定”
“ affirms without evaluating, ”
意思是它不传达任何情感
meaning it doesn ’t convey any feelings —
仅仅是承认和接受信息
it just acknowledges and accepts information.
如果你说“很OK的到了家” 表明你很安全
If you “got home OK,” it just means youwere unharmed.
如果你说“食物还OK” 表示还可以接受
If your “food was OK,” then it was acceptable.
并且”OK”也可以确认计划变更
And “OK” confirms a change of plans.
使用OK就像是反射
It’s is sort of a reflex at this point — we don’t
如今这个单词用过多少次已无从得知
even keep track of how much we use it.
这就是为什么OK可以说是
Which might be why OK was arguably the
人们在月球着陆说出的第一个词
first word spoken when humans landed on the moon.
还有三十秒
发现不明光源
发动机停止运转
收到 老鹰
这个19世纪30年代的老生常谈的笑话已经不错了
Not bad for a corny joke from the 1830s.
好了各位 到此结束
Alright guys, cut it out.

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视频概述

本视频介绍了OK一词的由来、演变过程和现代人对它的定义

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

珈杨

审核员

审核员YZ

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UnIDL-eHOs

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