Friday, October 28, 2011

Hoka Hey!

Hokaheh - Lakota word most closely translated as "Let's go!"


Okie dokie. 

Let's start by making sure we are all on the same page... that we are all OK, so to speak.

Hokaheh is most likely not the origin of the omni-present but mysterious okay, and etymologists tend to dismiss the more probable Choctaw word okeh despite its having all four of OK's accepted usages. 

They also dismiss the African slave origin theory {the Wolof and Bantu word waw-kay & the Mande (aka "Mandinke" or "Mandingo") phrase o ke both have similar meanings} in spite of the fact that the earliest references to the the word come from written accounts of slaves speaking.  Most of the written examples of the word from before 1800 all come in the form "Kay, Massa." or "Oh ki, massa..."

Well, most people with the suffix -ist at the end of their names tend to have little respect for oral traditions, indigenous people, and things that can not be cited authoritatively from the print record.

As such, they also tend to poo-poo the connection to the Scottish phrase "och aye" ("oh yes") as well.

One can imagine the confluence of Africans, Native Americans, and Scots-Irish in the antebellum south, where one of the only true points of understanding shared were these two oft-used syllables. 

At any rate, the fact that the word crops up in so many divergent and unconnected languages, and has now become universal in nearly every modern language, indicates something archetypal about these two syllables.  Like mama or taxi, you could say them in any land and be understood.

Well, I hope that in this blog, not only will I be understood, but also those of you who choose to comment and dialogue here... and I hope we will all be OK with whatever strange and circuitous pathways of mentation and cognition result here.

Being OK is a prerequisite for any meaningful progress.

That is what disclaimers try to establish, and in a weird way, this is my disclaimer.  If you decide to continue reading my semi-solipsistic ramblings, you are agreeing to not let anything I may say rob you of your basic OK state. 

Obviously, "okay" is not a reaction that any artist wishes for in respect to their art... but I don't see that one has to stop being okay to become astonished, amazed, overjoyed, inspired, or blown away.

I don't expect anyone to become ebullient or transformed from any collection of letters on any page, though stranger things have been known to happen, and there are a few books that people regularly attribute such transcendental power to.  Of course, if you are inspired to become transmogrified by anything here... by all means, be my guest.

What I expect to accomplish here, is to have fun while dumping some of my mental detritus into a public space... joyful, willful, virtual-cerebral littering.  

And, there are some rather powerful ideas and conceptions I want to explore here.  I would also be happy to engage in explorations on the ramifications and deeper meanings of the things I have written in more formal formats.  Perhaps this should actually be a forum or a chat room, and I still might add those features should enough interest arise.  In the end, though, this will still revolve around me publishing short articles, essays, op-eds, and my other assorted aesthetic mumbo jumbo... so, blog it is.

It is my sincerest and most humble hope that some of you hypothetical, proxy-shrouded readers out there will follow along on this journey, contribute when you feel willing (anonymously even), and feel that your time on this webpage was worth your while.  I will do my best to keep everything Oll Korrect (the most popular proposed etymology for OK, despite being based only in the idea that people want to purposely misspell all correct).

I won't go into the 19th century political and detergent uses of the word.  Let's just say that Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson, along with most politicians throughout history, could have used some of Pyle's O.K. soap (now known as Ivory) to wash their mouths out. 

The next blog entry will be an exclusive publication, and not to be missed.  I will be giving away for free, something that most people will probably tell me I should monetize 10 ways to Sunday.  And, as an added bonus, it will tie in with the current frenzy surrounding the powerful mystic number 9.

So, with that tease... I will bid you a fond fare thee well.

It's all good, or as the Greeks say, Όλα Καλά (Ola Kala, meaning "All Good")... another OK.


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