Everything Language and Grammar

Oh, Brother Moment

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 24, 2009

I recently had an “oh, brother moment” when I learned that there was a dispute between Mutual of Omaha and Harpo Productions, Oprah Winfrey’s media company, about whether Mutual of Omaha could use the term “aha moment” in an advertising campaign.

According to a dailyfinance.com article, a settlement was reached when Mutual of Omaha withdrew its lawsuit aimed at establishing its right to use the phrase. For the record, I’d like to point out that you can’t spell Omaha without “aha.” I’m just saying….

I don’t know if this means that Mutual of Omaha has given up the right to use the term or whether they have reached an agreement to allow them to use it, and I don’t care. That’s not the point. I just think it’s ridiculous for someone to claim any sort of ownership of a common phrase like “aha moment,” one that many of us have used for many years. Oh, brother.

In fact, I have now laid claim to the phrase “oh, brother” because I’ve said it more in the past 40 years than Charlie Brown has said “Rats,” and anyone who wants to use the term will need to speak with my lawyer.

–Paul

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