This magical, monosyllabic exclamation applies to a whole slew of circumstances: Accidentally pulling on a push door; trying to flag down a waiter; realizing you were served the wrong dish; hearing a mildly juicy piece of gossip; realizing a car is coming when you’re about to cross the street; thanking someone for opening a door for you; feeling the first drops of rain. “Ope!” works for all of ‘em. It’s a way to announce your presence in the most passive, non-intrusive way possible. We’re too kind to say “Excuse me”—that can come off as pushy, right? Plus, given our near-sociopathic tendency to chat up strangers, any word longer than “ope” might get us unintentionally roped into conversation.
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Seems dumb to me, but to each their own.
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