The best Oprah emails to Opera (the browser)


Espen André Øverdahl at the browser company Opera writes,

Today is the last Oprah show in the history of television. To us in Opera this is really sad news. This show has brought us great joy throughout the years. We've been receiving lots of mail from Oprah fans, asking us questions, complaining or simply just opening up, telling us about their lives. We've tried to answer these emails the best we can. As a tribute to Oprah and her fans, we've been digging in our mailbox in order to give you Opera's 'Best of Oprah mails to Opera" best of.
Oprah Winfrey: We will miss you (thanks, Andrea James).


  1. A… donut? Is that what they call it?

    I would start Googling this unfamiliar terminology, but you can run into some nasty, nasty stuff when you start Googling slang.

  2. Speaking of confusing names, do you think Rand Paul (the conservative Senator from Kentucky) and Paul Rand (the late designer who did, among many others, the logos for IBM, UPS, and NeXT) ever got their communications crossed? imagine the possibilities!

    1. Being from Kentucky, and being a graphic designer, I saw those signs everywhere and was terribly confused at first.

  3. These are great. I wish they’d post more.

    I once sent an email to a friend asking him if he could help me move a couch on the weekend. At least I thought it was to a friend. Apparently I messed up the email address because I received a reply from a guy in London, UK (I’m in Toronto, Canada) reading: “Sorry mate, but you’ve got the wrong email address. Even if it was the right one I can’t see me wanting to help move a couch on an otherwise perfectly good weekend without coming up with an excuse. Good luck with the move.”

  4. Early in our sophomore year at USC, my roommates and I realized that the apartment we’d moved into had been previously rented by the actress Jennifer Connelly (or it had according to some celebrity-address directory, at least). We averaged a few pieces of mail per week intended for Ms. Connelly.

    We took the responsibility seriously. When we signed autographs, we imagined how she might really sign; when we gave script notes we tried our best to make them cogent and clear. Marriage proposals were rebuffed, but gently, so as not to inflame the stalkers.

    I guess we should have come clean, but we were dicks, and our way was more fun.

    1. Øh
      man (I know this one because man is spelled “man” in Swedish (my native language) and used for both mane and man, but Norse spell “man”, as in man, either “mann” or “mand” (also the Swedish spelling, c:a 150 years ago), it is a common source of amusement in interlingual communication between the ethnic groups)
      that (spelled “det” in Norweigian)
      name (I had to use no.wikipedia to get this one, of course, the Norweigian word for name is “namn” or “navne”, pronounced quite different than English “name” (both the English “name” and Norse “navne”/”namn” have an Old Norse (a.k.a. Runic Swedish) origin, but spelling and pronunciation have evolved different in Norse and English), but using navne/namn wouldn’t be as fun)

      Øh man… løve that name…
      Uh mane… lion that Jørgen Johnsen…

      That sentence seem to have some kind of lion theme, other then that, it make no sense whatsoever.


      “Oh” means the same in Norweigian as in English, pronunciation is very similar. It also means the same thing in Danish and Swedish (but use “Ã¥h” if you want a Swedish word with exactly the same meaning as English “oh”, Swedish “oh” can be used similar to English “oh?”, “uh” or “huh”).

      I think “love” means “to promise” in Norse. I’m Swedish and “lova” means “to promise” in Swedish. If the same word is used in Norse (most “Swedish” words are), the spelling would be “love” and the pronunciation would be “lÃ¥ve” (but I think Norse “lÃ¥ve” means children and stable (or barn, not sure which one)), the Swedish “lova” is from “lofa” in Old Norse (a.k.a. Runic Swedish) and it would be spelled “love” in Norse (if it is used). Maybe an actual Norse speaker could confirm.

  5. Sure, it’s amusing when you get mistaken for Oprah.

    Bob Johnson, President
    Greater Ontario Amateur Taxidermy Society, Eastern Chapter

  6. Oh, great. Now I’m bracing myself for a sarcastic reply to the bug report I sent Ms. Winfrey.

  7. I’ve had quite a few emails meant for an executive at an investment company with the same first initial and last name. I wonder if I’m the only one here who’s ad a legitimate email from the former CEO of a South American energy company.

  8. This is terrible! They told a nine year old that she can use a browser to do fun stuff on facebook. Imagine her disappointment when she finds out about the age restrictions of FB!

  9. We serve Opera cake at my place of business. About once a month, someone asks for Oprah cake, and may venture to ask why we serve cake named for Oprah Winfrey.

  10. During my first week of university I received several emails intended for the head of the finance department, who had an unusual surname — the same as mine.

    The best was:

    “New biochemistry building — final payment

    Hi [name],

    I’ve put a cheque on your desk for £80,000,000 for the new biochem building, could you sign it ASAP and bring it over?”

    I replied, saying my student loan was only £1200, so I didn’t think I’d be able to pay for the new building.

  11. My parent’s house is next to a train station and by coincidence our telephone number is very similar to the train operator enquire services. We used to get loads of calls from people asking about timetables, at the beginning my mother used to say sorry and direct them to the right number but after a few months she started answering the questions since she knew the times for most of the trains anyway

  12. Now if only Boing Boing would show up in Opera (the browser) without repeating some odd image file all the way through.

    Been a fan of Opera (the browser) since version 1, Oprah not so much.

    1. Amen to that. I’ve noticed that if it’s just the sharing icons that’s wrong, you can normally just right-click, select Display Image, reload it to get the correct Twitter or FB logo, then go Back and your page should look ok. When it’s the blockquote background that’s gone awry (like for me today), I don’t know if there’s anything you CAN do.

    2. If it’s of any help to you and commenter #20, I’m in Opera and I don’t see that glitch, likely because I content-block most share buttons. I’ve noticed that some share buttons have a tendency to show up in wrong positions in Opera.

      Here’s a screenshot of what Opera’s content-blocker says my rules are blocking on this page

  13. I worked as a temp at a mind-numbing corporate job while I was still in school in the 90s. My extension was x5357 (KELP), while the help-desk was x4357 (HELP). I would get a few calls a week and happily provide first-level support since a) it was better than my job tasks, and b) the help-desk was outsourced and completely incompetent. It ended up leading to my first IT position when I helped out an IT exec who figured out what was going on and offered me a job in his organisation. Crossed wires aren’t always a bad thing.

  14. A company I used to work with (1980s era) had an 800 number 1-800-FILE-OUT. MTV (remember them? They used tobe some sort of music television thingy) had 1-800-DIAL-MTV

    You can see where this is going, right?

  15. In college, my phone number was one digit off from a local pizza delivery place. You can see where this is going. One evening I got tired of the calls from drunken frat boys trying to order a pizza, so I took an order and said it would be there in 30 minutes or less. Then I forgot about it. An hour later I got a call (on caller ID) from the same number. I didn’t answer the second call ;-)

  16. I used to have a phone number that was one digit off from a local radio station that ran midnight pizza contests — and I had to be at work by 6 am, so that was prime Z time. I couldn’t just unplug the phone, either, because I was on call, so work had to be able to reach me if the PDP-11 caught fire or something (yeah, it was that long ago, though the thing was obsolete even then). You can see how those two are converging, I’m sure. The ultimate, though, was when I’d gotten home from a long day at work (somebody else’s problem kept me there for something like 20 hours), and wasn’t going to have to get up the next morning, and I was enjoying some wonderful, delicious sleep … and about 5 am, I get this phone call … I answer, not with the mouthful that the radio station gibbered, but with “uuuu…nn?” (which, for me at that hour of morning, was coherent). “Yes, are you going to be broadcasting the game today? Because I have friends from out of town and my TV broke.” Like a radio station made their sports coverage decisions based on the status of this person’s TV? I thought of wonderful things I should have said later on, but at the time, with my level of (un)consciousness, all I could manage was “lady, you didn’t even call a radio station” and passed out again. After a couple of months of this, though, I got the phone company to change my number. Too bad, I liked the old one, but the midnight pizza calls were a bit much.

  17. One of my old roommates had a cell number that was opposite of the local taxi. (Something like 555-1980 instead of 555-1890 or something like that). I don’t know how many drunk people we’re stuck waiting for a cab at 1am on a Friday night that never came after the “ordered” one through him.

  18. I had arrive home at 11pm after leaving the hospital where my wife had just given birth to our first daughter. Having been up since 2am when labor started, I was very tired and went straight away to bed.

    Just as my head hit the pillow, the phone rang. It was a woman’s voice. “Honey. I just got to the motel and would have called sooner, but I had to pee first.” I replied “Huh?” She asked “Isn’t this 4xx-xxxx?” Annoyed, I hung up and dialed 4xx-xxxx and when a man answered, said “Hey buddy, your wife is here at the motel and she would have called sooner, but she had to pee first.” And then hung up, leaving that explanation to the wife.

Comments are closed.