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The "Annoying Phrase" Thread

Warbaby

One Too Many
Messages
1,549
Location
The Wilds of Vancouver Island
pigeon toe said:
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.

I never used "sorry" either until I lived in Amsterdam. After three years back in Canada, I still find myself using it with the Dutch accent. Sorry.
 

Darhling

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,517
Location
Norwich, RAF County!
Miss Guilt here! I apologize and genuinly feel sorry for WAY too much - making me say 'I apologize' and 'I am sorry' for just about everything! So if I bump into any of you on a street I will surely say on of the above and mean it too. I will properly think about it remorsefully for a few hours too. Yes, I have I problem I know..

In Denmark, when a person has died, it is quite common to say (Keep in mind, it is directly translated) 'I am sad to hear about your loss' but there is another word for sorry when you bump into people that means 'apologize' ..

As someone in the beginning said, I too see the word 'excuse me' as now being said ironically, even though I do know its original intent was apologetic. So I would much rather hear 'I am sorry' over 'excuse me' from someone.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,500
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
If I bump someone, I say "Pardon me," as in "Excuse my clumsiness, I wasn't trying to shove you aside." If I do something to hurt someone else's feelings I say "I'm sorry," because I am.

Around here if you say "Excuse me," there's a pretty good chance the other person will respond with "No excuse for ya."
 

Lotta Little

One of the Regulars
Messages
114
Location
That Toddlin' Town
I often use "I'm sorry" as a shortened form of "I'm sorry to hear that." In response I often hear, "WHY? It's not YOUR fault." I think that's rude in itself, as "I'm sorry" is too common an expression to be taken only as an admission of blame and remorse. Perhaps I'll switch to saying something like "That's terrible news."
 

DBLIII

One of the Regulars
Messages
229
Location
Hill City, SD
Kind of interesting. As I read through this, I have come to realize that I absolutely cannot remember the last time I said I was sorry for anything.
I suppose it is a good thing that I spend very little time around others.

Wait! I now remember that last weekend, my Jack Russell terrier attempted to leap up into my lap. I missed the catch and she landed on the counter, at which time she yelped. I did apologize to her.
 

Lady Day

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
9,087
Location
Crummy town, USA
I guess for me it takes a lot to over 'thank you' someone. After the first one, I generally do the eye contact thing, then after whatever interaction, Ill say it upon departing.

When I say 'excuse me', I often wait for the other persons, "um hum' or whatever sound they make as acknowledgment of my pardon.

LD
 

RebeccaDoll

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Location
Canada, Ontario, Up North
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. I'm a Canuck, and oh my, do we ever say I'm Sorry, it's true, I say "I'm Sorry" when someone else bumps into me! Most of us up here do that, it's just a mash up of "I'm Sorry's" when you knock into someone, they apologize, you apologize, then before we know it were sorry that the weather is terrible and the whole Barrel of I'm Sorry Monkey's is our fault. We stole it from the Brits, sorry.

Then again, when I go south, down to Toronto, you couldn't get an apology out of anyone, I get alot of glares for apologizing - I feel like a foreigner in that city!

BUT I do say excuse me when passing people that are in the way or If I am in the way, but it's I'm Sorry for any contact - that's just how it is, I'm afraid. It's true we watered the apology down, but I'd rather here I'm sorry from someone than nothing at all.

If you ever come up to Canada, Lady Day, you'll be sorry, because everyone will be apologizing for any bumps in public you get.
 

just_me

Practically Family
Messages
723
Location
Florida
I say "I'm sorry" when I bump into someone because I am sorry that I did it. I think it's an appropriate use of the term.

At learning of a death, "I'm sorry to hear..." is also fine with me.

The word "sorry" has more than one meaning.

sor⋅ry
   /ˈsɒri, ˈsɔri/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [sor-ee, sawr-ee]
–adjective, -ri⋅er, -ri⋅est.
1. feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.: to be sorry to leave one's friends; to be sorry for a remark; to be sorry for someone in trouble.
2. regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic: a sorry situation; to come to a sorry end.
3. sorrowful, grieved, or sad: Was she sorry when her brother died?
4. associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; melancholy; dismal.
5. wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful: a sorry horse.
6. (used interjectionally as a conventional apology or expression of regret): Sorry, you're misinformed. Did I bump you? Sorry.
 

Paisley

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,439
Location
Indianapolis
When I am passing someone, I sometimes say "excuse me." It lets them know I'm there so they don't run into me, and it's nicer than saying "get out of my way." In getting someone's attention, I think it's nicer to say "excuse me" than "hey, you."

I don't like the use of "I'm sorry" in place of "what?"
 

Foofoogal

Banned
Messages
4,884
Location
Vintage Land
Around here if you say "Excuse me," there's a pretty good chance the other person will respond with "No excuse for ya."

perfect example of how we need to remember to take where we live into account. I personally have never heard this term in my entire life. [huh]
 

Fedord Spaniard

One of the Regulars
Messages
184
Location
New York City
I know where youre coming from about how by saying "sorry" some people think they can fix everything. Ive always felt that one should only say it if they truley feel it...if not then dont bother. If someone bumps into me on the street or wherever and says "excuse me" instead of "sorry" to me i would take offense because it would feel like he/she is telling me to move. In this situation "sorry" makes it seem more polite to me. Ive seen way worst happen than this...once by wallstreet i saw a guy knock another guy down because he was in a hurry. The guy that did the knocking down instead of saying "excuse me" or "sorry sir let me help you up" he just looked at the guy on the floor and said "hey, time is money". Let me tell you if he wouldve done that to me, we were both going to end up getting arrested. I couldnt believe the nerve of that idiot when i saw that.
 

cecil

A-List Customer
Messages
396
Location
Sydney, Aus.
Fedord Spaniard said:
I know where youre coming from about how by saying "sorry" some people think they can fix everything. Ive always felt that one should only say it if they truley feel it...if not then dont bother. If someone bumps into me on the street or wherever and says "excuse me" instead of "sorry" to me i would take offense because it would feel like he/she is telling me to move. In this situation "sorry" makes it seem more polite to me. Ive seen way worst happen than this...once by wallstreet i saw a guy knock another guy down because he was in a hurry. The guy that did the knocking down instead of saying "excuse me" or "sorry sir let me help you up" he just looked at the guy on the floor and said "hey, time is money". Let me tell you if he wouldve done that to me, we were both going to end up getting arrested. I couldnt believe the nerve of that idiot when i saw that.


:eek: I just had to scrape my jaw off the floor. That's horrendous!
 
My greatest story along these lines is from when my father visited me in Indiana. For a little background he is … well, let's say he's from a small country town.

He was getting off the bus with us, and someone moved in front of him. He didn't see her. She (young female student) didn't see him, and they - naturally in the circumstances - bumped into each other. He instinctively said "Oh, sorry luv" and stuck out his hand onto her shoulder to steady her in case she should fall. Paddy can confirm that this is exactly the kind of thing a man like my father would do. Perfect gentlemanly conduct, i thought: Accept responsibility, say sorry, and make sure she's OK. Hmmm, well i've never seen anyone wince quite so much as that girl when his hand touched her shoulder. Strange idea of "personal space" some people have. It's not like he caressed her shoulder or anything, just a steadying hand lest she fall over. [huh]


bk
 

Lillemor

One Too Many
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1,137
Location
Denmark
I know I'm an overuser of the word sorry. I suppose it's a misguided attempt at being polite and showing consideration or that at least I wasn't intentionally selfish or rude. My Sorry's are usually followed by another 1-2 sorrys and explanations and questions about the other one's state of well being.

The word I use is 'undskyld' and I don't know if I have another Danish option where stopping up and chatting to a random person would seem out of place? We have about 50,000 fewer words than you do in English I've been told but I don't know that for a fact. I've heard that: "excuse me" and like fedord spaniard I've usually assumed it was short for 'move over' and a "polite" misguided attempt at getting away with it Which has really got the better of my nerves in the past and just made me more stubborn in staying in their way. I'm past that sort of behavior now.lol

I think to many people the word sorry is the same as "can I?" when people really mean "may I?" I was always correcting classmates "can I go to the restroom?". "Yes you can but you'll have to ask Mr/Mrs/Ms. if you may". I know, irritating, little, *%#!lol I wish someone would've done more to teach me correct grammar, manners, etiquette, etc. to make me better equipped to fare any where in our society regardless of the context or company I might find myself in.
 

TheDutchess

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
North Carolina
Usually when someone says " I'm sorry" to me. I reply with " I know your sorry, now apologize." People do say "I'm sorry" when they don't mean it. But rarely do people say " I apologize". I dunno what it is about the extra syllables but its mor acceptable for me. I'm weird like that though. [huh]
 

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