The "Annoying Phrase" Thread

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Lady Day, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    "I'm Sorry"

    I have always hated when people say "I'm sorry" after bumping into me. No you're not, just say excuse me. If I bumped into someone Im not sorry I did it, I reply with an "excuse me" as in excuse the fact I bumped into you. Often you cant help it, so you cant regret it, and regret would constitute a sorry. But, if you are walking on a crowded street, and someone bumps you on the arm, an excuse me would suffice.

    I just think I'm sorry has lost all meaning today, and I feel bad about that. I always took I'm sorry to mean that the person who says it takes deep personal regret in whatever effect their action brought; pain, inconvenience and or any other negative outcome to the other person. You didnt say it lightly, and the person you said it to didnt forgive you lightly.

    Now it seems to be an entitlement phrase. "I said I'm sorry, you should automatically forgive me."

    I bring this up because today, I went to the bank. I was expecting a replacement debit card that should have been delivered last week. It was not there, and the woman I dealt with said a cold mechanical, "I'm sorry" about three times. I realized, she wasnt saying I'm sorry, she was saying no.

    "I'm sorry, there isnt anything I can do right now."
    "No, there isnt anything I can do right now."

    I made me realize that many retailers say "I'm sorry" often as guise for "no, I cant/wont help you" and Im just realizing it.

    Where have I been.

    "I'm sorry" has also been taken as a phrase for laziness.

    "Yeah, I just closed it, Im sorry."
    Well, open it back up again. If it was JUST closed...

    Has anyone else been irritated by the phrase "I'm Sorry"?

    How were you raised to think on those words?

    How were your grandparents raised to think of them?

    Is it just me, or is this a new phenomenon? Because if its new, Im already ticked off.



    LD
     
  2. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

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    As to "I'm sorry" in place of "excuse me", I think that "excuse me" has taken on the new meaning associated with "exxxcuuuuusssse me": "you're at fault; get out of my way."

    "I'm sorry", right or wrong, is at least a nicety.
     
  3. Viola

    Viola Call Me a Cab

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    I'm pretty sure I've seen "I'm sorry/terribly sorry" recommended in older ettiquette books for inadvertantly bumping/offending someone and for saying no in a pleasant way - I know I've seen it at least in old-ish Miss Manners compilations but I'm pretty sure also in things older than that.

    In fact she said the best way to say no to someone in a social context was to say "I'm sorry, I can't" and if they ask why, repeat "It's just impossible, I'm sorry" etc. without getting drawn into elaborate explanations/arguments.
     
  4. cecil

    cecil A-List Customer

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    If I bump into somebody I say that I'm sorry, because I am sorry to have accidentally hit them due to not looking where I was going!

    The one that I don't get is saying "Oh, I'm sorry" after learning of a death. I think it doesn't make sense unless you say "I'm sorry to hear of your loss", which still isn't perfect but it's alot better.

    Unless you actually ran over your neighbours dog by your own hand, in that case it's definitely appropriate! lol

    I definitely think that sometimes it's become an entitlement phrase though. Saying sorry is a good place to start but one shouldn't automatically expect forgiveness.

    In regard to the service industry, I worked in a call centre and if it was impossible to give the customer what they wanted, I would say that I was sorry. Sure I wasn't going to cry myself to sleep because I couldn't connect somebody's internet on time, but I think apologising for the inconvenience was more approriate than a "Suck it up, baby." Ha!
     
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  5. miss_elise

    miss_elise Practically Family

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    From Stuff White People like

    #55 - Apologies

    White people know that their ancestors did some messed up things. As a result, it has become hard wired for them to apologize for almost anything.

    In fact, white people are so used to apologizing that they start all sentences that might cause disagreement with “I’m sorry.” For example “I’m sorry, but Garden State was a better film than Hard Eight.”

    In other cases, white people will apologize without being asked.

    “Excuse me Dylan, you dropped a piece of paper in front of my desk.”

    “Oh, sorry about that!”

    It’s just that easy! Just point it out and they’ll apologize.

    Sometimes if you are out late at night and a white person irritates someone at a night club or a bar, the first thing they will do is apologize in rapid fire mode in hopes it will stop them from getting their ass kicked. This technique has a surprisingly high success rate, as the aggressor immediately knows that fighting this person will be very easy, with little satisfaction.
     
  6. cecil

    cecil A-List Customer

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    ^^^ I love that blog, even though it knows me far too well...
     
  7. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

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    This is funny stuff. I think I hit about 90% of those. lol
     

  8. Blame the British for passing it on to us. The Brits say "sorry!" for everything.

    .
     
  9. I was taught "When you say 'I'm Sorry' you're not apologizing, you're describing yourself" and thus prefer to avoid the phrase. I use "I regret", "I apologize" or "I wish I could help" (the latter only when true) instead.

    The whole tone that so many people use with their sneered "Sooo-rry" (as another Lounger noted, in a tone approximating "A__-Hole") really does at times make me wish that lesser temper control was a luxury I could afford, as it just begs for a knuckleball up the snotlocker, albeit one they will have to receive from somebody else after I make my point by explaining why their attitude-check failure means they will not be receiving any of my money and their manager will be receiving a piece of my mind (if applicable).
    ----------------
    Now playing: John Williams - Anakin Vs. Obi-Wan
    via FoxyTunes
     
  10. Viola

    Viola Call Me a Cab

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    Haha. Well, I say sorry almost habitually for a wide range of things but I gotta say I must have heard "Don't say 'sorry, Petty Officer' - I'm NOT A SORRY F-ING PETTY OFFICER, YOU'RE A SORRY F-ING RECRUIT!" about a billion and three times in my time with the Navy, and this reminded me of that.
     
  11. Slim Portly

    Slim Portly One Too Many

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    Were I to accidentally bump into someone it would be appropriate to express sorrow, or regret, or to ask forgiveness, or to use any number of other socially acceptable phrases to ease tension and allow the person who has been bumped to know that what transpired was an accident and to offer them the chance to forgive my clumsiness.


    "I'm sorry" does not mean the same thing as "I apologize." When an acquaintance mentions a death it is perfectly appropriate to express sorrow.
     
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  12. pigeon toe

    pigeon toe One Too Many

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    I acquired the habit of saying "sorry" instead of excuse me after living in the Netherlands for six months. Even though the majority of Dutch speak English, they will much sooner move out of the way if you say "soh-rry!" (I have no idea how to express the accent, but trust me, there is one), than if you say "excuse me". So, saying "sorry" (minus the accent), instead of "excuse me" just feels more natural now.
     
  13. cecil

    cecil A-List Customer

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    Perhaps it's an American/Australian difference? I hear it in movies alot, but over here you come off sounding a bit affected if you don't follow it with "...to hear it" or "...for your loss". I usually say "I'm sorry to hear it, how awful" or similar.
     
  14. cecil

    cecil A-List Customer

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    That's good, I should probably use that next time.

    Slightly off-topic but what about expecting a "thank-you"? I was just in the office lift and held the door open for somebody and they didn't thank me. People usually do, so at first I was a bit miffed, but should I have expected it? Holding the lift open for someone should just be something you do automatically, really.
     
  15. Fleur De Guerre

    Fleur De Guerre Call Me a Cab

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    I always say 'I'm sorry', for the reasons described above... I *am* sorry for bumping into them or not looking where I'm going! The other day while swing dancing I accidentally whacked a lady across the face with my flailing hand.... I was super apologetic, and must've said sorry about 17 times! If I'd turned around and said 'oh, excuse me' I'd probably have got *her* hand across *my* face as that would have seemed incredibly rude! lol In my opinion.
     
  16. Charlie Noodles

    Charlie Noodles A-List Customer

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    I don't really care if someone bumps into me, I wouldn't expect them to be genuinely sorry about it. But I'm sure we both would be a little annoyed if the nicety of the bumper recognising their fault didn't occur. To me, both phrases amount to the same thing.
     
  17. Yes, the Brits say "i'm sorry" far too much. Consantly apolgetic; it gets absurd sometimes. It's like beginning a phone converstion It's only me. [huh]

    But those damn Indiana people would say "excuse me" whenever they walked past you. Every single time. Even if you were the only two people in a very wide corridor, and didn't come within 3 feet of each other: "Excuse me". I came to believe that it's a passive aggressive attempt to be the über-polite one. Beating the others' manners into the ground. I, of course, never said anything in reply.


    bk
     

  18. It's because their personal space barriers are more than 3 feet in circumference! lol

    .
     
  19. miss_elise

    miss_elise Practically Family

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    To quote Vincent Nigel-Murray "Did you know that over 98% of people will respond with thank you if you say you're welcome?"


    You're Welcome
     

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