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Tom Merritt Has a Close Call With Molasses

Tom Merritt
Tom Merritt
Hey folks,
I just had a close call. OK, just between you and me, “circle of trust” as my friend Brian calls it, I have an episode of Know A Little More coming out later this year that is not about a tech topic. It has a little tech in it, but it’s a departure for me.
It’s about the word OK. I’m fascinated by the fact that the word OK is used in almost all the commonly spoken languages on the planet. So I wanted to find out why.
In my research I uncovered how similar the 1830s are to the 2020s. Like massive reposting of news, shortening everything into initials, even trolling! I also found out just how much people *hated* President Van Buren’s Vice President. Man. They hated him a lot! And I found out why we click OK in those little boxes on computers and stuff.
So you’re probably wondering about the close call I mentioned.
So in the original script for the episode, I mentioned that the first occurrence of OK in print happened the same day a 50-foot wave of molasses killed 50 people in Boston.
Don’t worry. I was not harmed by the molasses. I didn’t do any time traveling to Boston to try to go molasses surfing.
The problem was in a screenshot. The New England Historical society provided me some great information on the origins of OK. They also showed a screenshot of the Boston Post in which OK first showed up in print.
But instead of showing the 1839 edition of the newspaper they put up one from 1919. The day of the 50-foot wave of molasses.
Thank goodness Allison Sheridan noticed the date when I was having her beta listen to the episode.
Sadly though, I had to remove multiple references to living in a world haunted by 50-foot deadly molasses waves. In their place are references to finding the governor a kitten, and burning President Van Buren– not his Vice President– in effigy.
To thank you for supporting this newsletter I’m going to give you two gifts.
And the second is the raw recording of “About OK.” Let me know what you think.
Have a great weekend if you celebrate,

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Tom Merritt
Tom Merritt @acedtect

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