Thursday, June 23, 2005

"I'm sorry if ..."

Not to pile on Senator Dicky Durbin (D-Al Queda) after his apology, but the Blogfather makes a few great points:

Glenn points out a Salon article on apologies that says:

"I'm sorry I was rude" is good.
"I'm sorry if I was rude" is not. It weasels. It implies that maybe you weren't rude. It implies that the person being apologized to has a twisted little worldview if they think "Oh, shut up, frog-lips" is rude.

An apology should give the sense that you actually feel some form of regret. "Sorry if" is a conditional apology. Conditional apologies make things worse, not better.

Now compare this to Durbin's apology:

"I'm sorry if anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time," he said, adding, "I'm also sorry if anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military."


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