For its 2012 edition, the folks at Merriam-Webster have announced that Oprah’s oft used term, “aha moment” will be added to their dictionary, defining it as: “a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension.”
Don’t make the mistake of thinking, as the media and perhaps even Ms. OWN herself may lead you to assume, that Oprah coined the term, “aha moment”. Not so, peeps. A 2009 NY Times article highlights a dispute between Oprah’s production company, Harpo Productions, Inc. and Mutual of Omaha (you’ve got to be kidding, Oprah!). The story goes that Mutual of Omaha’s advertising team had come up with and were using the slogan, “official sponsor of the aha moment” in a national advertising campaign and Harpo didn’t like it. Harpo, in a letter to Mutual, asked Mutual to stop using “aha moment” to promote its insurance and financial products because it didn’t want confusion about whether there was a relationship between Mutual and Winfrey. Really? Was Harpo concerned that Oprah would end up in the tabloids with headlines like, “Oprah and Mutual of Omaha share an aha moment behind closed doors of a hotel room located in a secluded exotic location.”??? Scratching my head right now.
Winfrey’s representatives argued that the phrase was synonymous with Winfrey and her show. Winfrey often discusses “aha moments” — described on her magazine’s Web site as “those flashes of understanding” — with guests on her show. — Dear Ms. OWN,…I think you are taking OWN way too seriously. You don’t OWN “aha moment” just because you said it a few times. I say “shit” all the time and that don’t make me the owner of crap!
Mutual responded with a lawsuit and documents showing it had obtained preliminary approval of a federal trademark. If you’d like to know the origin of “aha moment” and read more about the Harpo/Mutual of Omaha dispute, go here: NY Times 2009 article
The self-made media queen has been under much scrutiny since she left a major television network and her 25 year long day time show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, to spearhead her own network, OWN whose ratings, to date, have been less than stellar. It has been an uphill journey for the former daytime diva after coasting for so many years on the success of The Oprah Winfrey show. Then again, can you really feel sorry for a woman who has amassed a net worth estimated at $2.8 billion? Don’t count Oprah out yet on her shaky OWN ratings either. As you recently read right here on The Daily Fix, Winfrey just interviewed the beautiful and talented, Rihanna which will air on Oprah’s Next Chapter Sunday, Aug. 19 on OWN. In the interview Rihanna speaks candidly about her ex, Chris (Punched me in the Face) Brown.
Oh, and in case you’d like to know what other terms are being included in Merriam-Webster’s next dictionary edition they are: Sexting, energy drink, f-bomb, man cave and bucket list. My guess is Harpo won’t go after those using the f-bomb term claiming it’s synonymous with Winfrey and her network.