I’m not talking about the Hasbro board game, where 2-4 players attempt to get all four of their colored game pieces from start to “home” before the other players.
I’m also not talking about the novel by Gail Jones.
Or the song by Guns N’ Roses.
I’m talking about the most over-used word in the Canadian vernacular.
A recent study from Queens University tells us what we all already knew: Canadians are the leaders in official apologies. The study found that Canadians are more likely to say “sorry” than any other nationality, and Canadians use “sorry” in contexts that do not require an apology because: “Canadians are overly concerned with maintaining their self-image as a tranquil, multicultural, peacemaking nation.”
There was a recent National Post article that caught my attention: The use and abuse of ‘sorry’: Americans do not say it, the British do not mean it, and Canadians overdo it.
Having lived in all three countries, I know this to be true. When I was living in England someone once told me that I apologized too much. My response was, “sorry”. I immediately apologized again – another reflexive, uncontrolled “sorry”.
Sorry. The word is meant to convey regret, sympathy, pity.
Sorry I slept with your fiancé the night before your wedding… Sorry you’re not able to get the deposit back on the reception hall… Sorry you’re all dressed up with no place to go… Sorry you’re going to have to do online dating, again… (these are some examples of things you could and should say “sorry” for).
Instead, “sorry” has become a thin, limp word that Canadians rely on (like their obnoxiously free National health care system).
We Canadians need to stop apologizing, officially.
In fact, Canadians need an addendum to the Canadian Constitution Acts, 1867-1982:
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:
Every citizen of Canada has the right not to apologize.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to apologize except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
I’ve been saying “sorry” my entire life, and I’m done. From now on, I’m only going to say “sorry” when I’m really sorry (which is hardly ever).
If you don’t like it, I’m sorry (not sorry).
An early apology note (there have been many since):