Oh my gosh! I don’t have a good subject for this letter. And this after two videos last night (Star Wars VII & The Hateful Eight), and leftover pizza and Taco Bell this morning. Even looking about the room, I don’t see any objects beginning with ‘O’ (aside from the word objects beginning with O – thanks Captain Obvious).
Well then, just pick a word and start from there (I tell myself). Duh. Okay. And there I have it. Okay. A weird word in English amongst so many. But where did it come from? And after you read its history, why hasn’t it gone away?
OK. I tried to paste the definition in, but the editor keypad is fighting me. In summary, from the online dictionary, the initials come from Old Kinderhook, New York – the birthplace of President Martin van Buren and his campaign for the presidency (not the 1828 one that he was also involved with).
The Wikipedia article on the word is much more indepth, providing wider associations and history – including the dictionary definition. Furthermore, it tries to explain its current worldwide usage. My two cents worth: I’ll grant that the first printed usage came during the campaign, oral usage happened long before then.
Reading about this history got me thinking about linkages and associations. Is it just a coincidence that I mentioned van Buren just a few posts ago? Mr. Spock didn’t believe in coincidences. I can believe in them, but Spock is a character of fiction. Still, how odd that I’d dredge up the same old bones from two different directions.