ERIC Number: ED155922
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Apr
Reference Count: 0
On the Use of "O.K." in Service Encounters. Working Papers in Sociolinguistics, No. 42.
The role of the particle "o.k." in service encounter dialogue is discussed. A service encounter is defined as a situation of interaction between a "posted" server and a second party (a customer) who invokes the server's participation as an operator of a "serving post." It is suggested that approval or acceptance is often only part of what is being conveyed when the term "o.k." is used. In particular, it is argued that this term is attuned to punctuating interactional units within the encounter. The server's use of the term seems to operate as an acknowledgement that it is the server's turn to take some verbal or non-verbal action. The customer's use of the term may indicate intention to release the server from further obligation to provide the requested commodity. It is concluded that the term "o.k." has at least two possible functions: (1) that of signifying approval, acceptance, confirmation; and (2) that of providing a bridge, a linking device between two stages or phases of the encounter. (AM)
Descriptors: Discourse Analysis, Interaction Process Analysis, Language Patterns, Language Research, Language Role, Language Usage, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, Speech Communication, Verbal Communication
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 211 East 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.