In this age of divisiveness over countless issues both significant and not, I’m compelled to weigh in on the minimally important “debate” over the word “ope.” It wasn’t until I read Brendan Quealy's Aug. 18 article about the three-letter utterance that I realized I say “Ope!” all the time.
I grew up in central Illinois with a three-year stint in Minneapolis before settling in Michigan for the last 47 years. “Ope” is, indeed, for me a frequent alternative to “oops.” I say it if I accidentally bump into someone, if I drop something, if I realize I forgot something, etc., etc. When I brought the article to the attention of my family, they also realized it is part of their vocabulary. I began listening for it from friends and strangers and have been amused how often I hear it. So, thanks, Mr. Quealy, for your article; I thoroughly enjoyed it. I now have a conscious affection for this tiny word that apparently was planted in my language development early on by my Midwestern upbringing.
Ope! I almost forgot: To those who say they’ve never heard it, come hang out with me for, oh, about an hour.