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Sorry Wed, Oct 11, 2006
Sorry is one of those words that's really easy to say without meaning.  Let me clarify before I gain a whole army of enemies:  When you say, "I'm sorry I did this" or "Sorry this happened", those words are usually sincere.  Sorry in that sense is an honest confession of wrongdoing or a heartfelt expression of sympathy.  However, there's an entirely different use of the word that often occurs as a pattern of social interaction.  People say, "Sorry to interrupt, but..."  That's not a real "sorry".  It's more of a "sorry if you're offended by my actions" and less of a "sorry I'm doing this".  Another example is, "Sorry I just cut you off, but no one else would let me out."  You're not really sorry for cutting the person off; you're just sorry that they were the recipient of your apparently offensive action. 

I notice this word being misused all the time.  So I would suggest inventing a new word or phrase to replace the old, borderline meaningless one.  Instead of saying sorry when you really mean it, use the phrase "truly sorry" or "honestly remorseful".  It adds a little more meaning when you actually mean it.  But for all those other circumstances where you're just saying it to say it, continue abusing the word into disuse. #psychology


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