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The popularity of the “OK Boomer” or “ok boomer” meme as a generational put-down has led to discussion within my little online circle of editors and editor hangers-on,* with predictable outcomes.

We’ll start with concern whether the word should be spelled OK, O.K., ok, or okay. The original spelling of the word was OK. Some people prefer okay, which has become a standard variant. It was never O.K.

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There was also some discomfort with the lack of a comma. But the vocative comma appears to have pretty much been dropped from online posts and casual emails. I regularly receive email in which the opening is “Hi John” and no longer wince.

Concern about these niceties is as thoroughly Boomerish as you can get, because it overlooks the importance of register. Internet exchanges, particularly ripostes, are not often in the formal register. And in this case, the disregard of the little formalities that we Boomers grew up with is a delicious tweak that I, Boomer as I am, can appreciate. And do not worry about.

After all, we had it coming.

*Oddly, such people do exist.

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