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To find "I'm sorry but..." extremely irritating?

(43 Posts)
Tuppenceinred Tue 06-Aug-13 23:05:23

So often, when someone has no need to apologise, and isn't actually feeling apologetic at all:
"I'm sorry but I'm not in a position to lend you £100".
"I'm sorry but it isn't convenient to have you to stay next weekend".
If you aren't sorry - don't say you are.

Tuppenceinred Wed 07-Aug-13 08:26:21

The examples I gave may not have been particularly strong, but I was trying to resist quoting some real ones from here and getting told off. grin
You know the threads, where a poster has had someone completely take the piss out of them, and others then start suggesting replies - probably at least 50% including the word sorry, or saying I'm sorry but...
And of course the really irritating - for example - "I'm sorry, but that's complete rubbish!" WTF is there to be sorry about when you're making a statement that something is complete rubbish? It's not a situation where you are sorry at all, and it's not smoothing anything over, and it's surely not a social nicety.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 11:41:41

i am so with you tuppence grin

mercury7 Wed 07-Aug-13 12:40:36

I realise it's meant to be a nicety, or a way of softening what you are about to say by apologising in advance, but to me it usually sounds unnecessarily apologetic, convoluted and petty, not to mention cliched.

Most of the time it would be better to just come out and say it whatever the thing is
Sometimes it is appropriate to soften a criticism, but something like 'I dont want to offend you but' is preferable

mercury7 Wed 07-Aug-13 12:44:33

Or how about
'unfortunately I am not in a position to lend you a tenner'

there's the acknowledgement that the state of affairs is unfortunate for the would be borrower but no admission of culpability on the part of the refusing lender grin

MrsHoarder Wed 07-Aug-13 12:53:05

I do object to the phrase, but in contexts such as:

"I'm sorry [for joking about rape] but I only meant slags"
"I'm sorry [I broke your priceless heirloom] but it was in the way"
"I'm sorry [I hit you] but you were nagging me"

When someone is saying they would like to help but they can't, that is a reasonable use of the phrase.

AnnabelleLee Wed 07-Aug-13 12:59:07

It's called social politeness. Some more people around here should try it.

KellyElly Wed 07-Aug-13 12:59:27

It's just a turn of phrase. I'm sorry OP but it doesn't bother me grin

Nagoo Wed 07-Aug-13 12:59:27

I always say to DH that 'Sorry but' is no sorry at all.

needaholidaynow Wed 07-Aug-13 14:38:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

needaholidaynow Wed 07-Aug-13 14:40:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nagoo Wed 07-Aug-13 15:01:49

no offence

bearleftmonkeyright Wed 07-Aug-13 15:09:17

I'm sorry you feel that way hmm really bugs me and is in no way an apology. If someone has upset you and they say in response I'm sorry you feel that way how is that an apology?

FruitOwl Wed 07-Aug-13 15:12:13

Is it not just a polite English thing though? Like when someone walks right into you because they were texting or something and you automatically say "sorry" even though it was totally their fault? (I didn't do this yesterday and then wonder why, oh no).

I'm sure Kate Fox talks about our overuse of "sorry" in her book Watching the English.

PipkinsPal Wed 07-Aug-13 15:14:38

In work I answer the telephone and people say they are sorry to bother me! If they are that sorry, why did they ring in the first place? They are not bothering me, it's my job to answer the phone and try to resolve their queries.

badguider Wed 07-Aug-13 15:19:08

What's wrong with 'i'm sorry but it's not convenient for you to stay next weekend'?

Unless what you really mean is 'fuck off i don't like you and don't ever want you to stay'? grin

but most people who say i'm sorry but it's not convenient in my experience are actually sorry that it isn't convenient... confused

SinisterBuggyMonth Wed 07-Aug-13 17:08:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SinisterBuggyMonth Wed 07-Aug-13 17:30:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PaulSmenis Wed 07-Aug-13 17:53:58

I'm sorry but

I'm not being funny, but

I am just being honest

These are all 'polite' ways for people to say something that's quite rude.

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