Advanced search

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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.

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.

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?

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

no offence

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

i am so with you tuppence grin

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.

wanderings Wed 07-Aug-13 08:15:04

"I'm sorry, but I never apologise!"

Mind you, I remember my mum saying cheerfully after she had (unfairly) deprived me of something: "I am not in the faintest bit sorry".

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 01:28:42

i live and grew up in NI. in certain parts you can be having a conversation with someone that sounds something like this

"so i goes 'aye' and she goes 'no way' and here's me ' i'm serious' and she turns round and tells me 'away on with yerself' so i says 'tell you what about it- ask him yerself' and i dandered on"

confused grin

i regularly find myself wondering who, if anyone, actually went anywhere.

FloweryOwl Wed 07-Aug-13 01:03:43

It irritates me too. Just like "Then I turned around and said...then she turned around and said..."
As if they started the conversation back to back.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 07-Aug-13 00:43:11

I totally agree OP.

I made a conscious decision last year not to say sorry unless I was actually sorry.

I almost blew a gasket when in an empty bar/café on holiday with dsis earlier in the year. we were the only customers, there were about 15 tables and we were in the middle of lunch. a group of people came in (about 7/8 people) and hovered about our table, hmming and ahhing and eventually all decided to pile into the 4 seater table behind us, pulling chairs over and bumping my sister all the while with dsis getting increasingly peed off. then one of them turned to her and said "it's a bit of a squeeze, you see you are sitting on our regular seat" and Dsis' response? "oh sorry!" shock just because it's been drummed into us all to be ever so polite and apologetic. fuck that! she had no reason to be sorry at all so why say it. and she wasn't sorry- she was pissed off.

I also hate seeing it on posts on MN. things like "sorry but..." or at the end of someone having a go at someone and ending it with sorry as if they were insulting them for their own good!

lottieandmia Wed 07-Aug-13 00:36:30

My dad does this and I hate it - because he is being rude and is not remotely sorry.

steppemum Wed 07-Aug-13 00:32:33

but in all your examples, the person could be genuinely sorry -

I really want to see you and have you to stay, but next weekend just doesn't work, sorry!
Nothing wrong with that?

I would really like to help, I wish I had £100, but sorry i don't

aldiwhore Tue 06-Aug-13 23:58:16

I'm sorry but I think YABU.

What I mean is that I want to agree with you, I want you to feel right. I AM sorry because I don't think you are. I don't like to rock the boat and you seem nice, so I'll say sorry so you don't think I'm just a blunt bitch who doesn't care.

I agree with piprabbit the "I am sorry but..." when just the apology is required does get tiresome, but sometimes that is valid too.

Recently I called DH a childish name (one I know he hates) I meant the apology BUT I was in the right in general terms, I was sorry (for myself) that I'd stooped to name calling, but not sorry for having the opinion I held wink

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now