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The "Annoying Phrase" Thread

stephen1965

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London
About a year ago, in the English press there were articles about the mother of Prince William's girlfriend. (Can't recall her name). Anyway, apparently she would say 'Pardon?' (non U) when she meant 'What?'.(U = upper class, non-U means aspiring middle class)
The English author Nancy Mitford took up the usage(of U and non- U)in an essay, “The English Aristocracy”, that was published by Stephen Spender in his magazine Encounter in 1954.
I would suggest that use of the word 'sorry' is a tricky area in demarcating U and non-U and that is why there is so much debate about it. We just don't really know where it belongs and where the person saying it belongs.
Some say 'Sorry?' as an alternative to the harsher sounding 'What?' and as a shortened version of 'I'm sorry I couldn't hear you'.. So it's non aspiring but most upper class speech would probably go for 'What? (speak up), I can't hear you' Of course, 'Sorry' as an apology would be totally acceptable...On a lighter note but on the subject of non-U speech here's some fun examples:

How To Get On In Society by John Betjeman

Phone for the fish knives, Norman
As cook is a little unnerved;
You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes
And I must have things daintily served.

Are the requisites all in the toilet?
The frills round the cutlets can wait
Till the girl has replenished the cruets
And switched on the logs in the grate.

It's ever so close in the lounge dear,
But the vestibule's comfy for tea
And Howard is riding on horseback
So do come and take some with me

Now here is a fork for your pastries
And do use the couch for your feet;
I know that I wanted to ask you-
Is trifle sufficient for sweet?

Milk and then just as it comes dear?
I'm afraid the preserve's full of stones;
Beg pardon, I'm soiling the doileys
With afternoon tea-cakes and scones.
 

Lillemor

One Too Many
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TheDutchess said:
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]

Do you feel they might've given things more thought when they use more syllables? Actually, if I could use the word apologize instead of my long sorry sentences, that would make my "confrontations" shorter and less embarrassing for all involved.:eek:
 

Miss Neecerie

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excuse me = pre-bumping 'please move out of my way'

I'm sorry = post accidentally hitting someone regrets


This plus a copious use of "please" and "thank you" (admittedly, I am fairly well trained from living in England to have every transaction include 5 pleases and 4 thank yous) makes the polite world go round.
 

PrettySquareGal

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Miss Neecerie said:
excuse me = pre-bumping 'please move out of my way'

I'm sorry = post accidentally hitting someone regrets


This plus a copious use of "please" and "thank you" (admittedly, I am fairly well trained from living in England to have every transaction include 5 pleases and 4 thank yous) makes the polite world go round.

I agree with you 100%. I've always said "excuse me" pre-bumping and "I'm sorry" if I bump. I've also never had a problem with "too many" polite utterances.
 

pigeon toe

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Feraud said:
Isn't this either an innocent misuse or regional idiosyncrasy of a commonly term?

That's what I was thinking. I don't see what the big deal is. If someone is polite enough to even acknowledge the fact that they might have done something to inconvenience you, etc. I don't care what they say! Then again, I rarely take such things personally and sometimes get a little embarrassed myself when people over-apologize for something small.
 

irb

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Diamondback said:
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.

I think you're on to something there; I had a friend growing up who was taught to say "I'm boring" instead of "I'm bored"; I picked it up from him and it does make a difference. It changes the way you approach the problem.

I also find the abundance of "I'm sorry" out there to be annoying. If they're so darn sorry about it, why don't they do something about it?
 

Miss Neecerie

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PrettySquareGal said:
So what am I to do if I accidentally and gently bump into someone? Compensate them for pain and suffering?? Gimme a break!


I vote for


'I am not really sorry that you did not get out of my way, don't you know who I am you nitwit!'

because really...everyone knows that -I- am more important....

:eusa_doh:
 

PrettySquareGal

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Miss Neecerie said:
I vote for


'I am not really sorry that you did not get out of my way, don't you know who I am you nitwit!'

because really...everyone knows that -I- am more important....

:eusa_doh:

Seriously!
 

stephen1965

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irb said:
If they're so darn sorry about it, why don't they do something about it?
lol 'I'm extremely sorry, I can't do anything. Er, sorry'.lol
Yes you're right it can be annoying but they(the sorry) didn't mean it to be. It tends to signify a lack of responsibility when someone apologises for everything and nothing and a way of avoiding the responsibility of their own actions. Certainly a lack of what I believe is called 'assertiveness' is implied by saying sorry consistently.
 

Miss Neecerie

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and just to clarify my earlier statement of

"excuse me = pre-bumping 'please move out of my way'

I'm sorry = post accidentally hitting someone regrets
"



These are both polite 'set phrases' if you will..that make casual social encounters smooth and non rude. They do not carry any -deep- meaning and have not for a very long time.


If it was an actual personal issue....I would -apologize- not...just say sorry.

In my view, sorry is a regret that a -situation- happened.....not a regret that my -action- hurt or otherwise caused someone else pain, etc. One does not -really- feel a deep personal regret for bumping into someone ...unless its literally a -running down- of said person...in which case...see -apologize-...heh

for that level of offense I would -apologize- and not just 'I'm Sorry' the matter away.
 

celtic

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I require people to apologize in writing if they bump into me.

I do provide a self-addressed envelope to hand them if needed, but they will have to provide their own postal stamp.
 

PrettySquareGal

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celtic said:
I require people to apologize in writing if they bump into me.

I do provide a self-addressed envelope to hand them if needed, but they will have to provide their own postal stamp.

lol lol lol lol lol
 

Lady Day

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irb said:
I also find the abundance of "I'm sorry" out there to be annoying. If they're so darn sorry about it, why don't they do something about it?


See, that is why it annoys me. I get how people are trying to use it when bumping and such, but I think the words are much more powerful than that, and when they ARE used in true fashion, they tend to not have the impact they should.

LD
 

Darhling

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irb said:
I also find the abundance of "I'm sorry" out there to be annoying. If they're so darn sorry about it, why don't they do something about it?

IF we are talking about bumping into someone, then if they are sorry, they do something about, by saying it. Should an accidential 'bumper' do more than apologize? (I am geniuinly curious, not being sarcastic).
 

Fedord Spaniard

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cecil said:
:eek: I just had to scrape my jaw off the floor. That's horrendous!


Yea, i know. Thats the norm here...during rushhour on the subway all kinds of things go down. Things from "get the (expletive) outta of my way you (expletive)" with a reply of " hey, (expletive) you, you "rooster" sucker". You get people trying to get into the train as people are trying to get out of the train simultaneously...so it ends up looking like an angry football game. Its the same things when theres that one empty seat during rushhour. You get some people trying to shove others out the train windows just to get to that seat. Its toned down alot... it was worst in the 1980s....


Lotta Little said:
...once by wallstreet i saw a guy knock another guy down because he was in a hurry.

That's Wall Street for you.


Yea, a bunch of sociopathic suits on the assembly line, trying to make that cut throat deal, before someone else does.


Tomasso said:
You should see the stuff that goes on in the trading pits. :eusa_doh:

lol I second that. If anyones ever seen the movies Wall Street or Boiler Room, thats the average mentality for alot of the brokers there. Its the " it doesnt matter how many people you ruin...just as long as youre a little richer at the end of the day" mentality...just ask Bernie Madoff hes a veteran.
 

PrettySquareGal

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Darhling said:
IF we are talking about bumping into someone, then if they are sorry, they do something about, by saying it. Should an accidential 'bumper' do more than apologize? (I am geniuinly curious, not being sarcastic).

Alright look, so maybe some people are klutzes and can learn to better control their condition. Maybe the pharm cos will soon have a medication for it, too, and we'll all be swell. :rolleyes:
 

Feraud

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irb said:
I also find the abundance of "I'm sorry" out there to be annoying. If they're
so darn sorry about it, why don't they do something about it?

Better too much sentiment than too little I say.

There is nothing more be said than a polite, excuse me, sorry, etc. in these minor encounters throughout the day.

We musn't expect blood from stones.
 

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