In retrospect: Chaye Sarah
Here's the thing: the text doesn't show Eliezer saying elay in the record of his conversation with Avraham as it happened. We only see it in the narrative Eliezer presents after the fact. My grandfather offers this explanation: at the time that Eliezer had that conversation with Avraham he did not feel that hope that was buried in the depths of his soul that his master would consent to a connection of marriage between their children. However, now after it became clear that Hashem made him successful in his quest just as Avraham promised him, he is able to recognize and register he doubts he ha when he spoke with Avraham before setting out and that they were motivated by the secret desire of his heart -- the hope that Avraham would consent to the union. He was not even cognizant of that desire at the time he expressed the possibility of not succeeding in Avraham's plan. But now it became clear to him, and that's why the word oolay here is written elay.
Related posts: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2015/10/sarahs-internal-laughter.html