Minor British Institutions: Saying sorry
Saturday 22 October 2011
The British say sorry a lot: if we make a mistake, if we tread on somebody's toes, if someone treads on our toes, if we've broken something, including someone's heart, if we didn't quite hear something, if we've heard something but couldn't quite believe it, if our ancestors have wiped out large numbers of other ancestors, if we're closing: a recent estimate put it at eight times a day for each Briton, which works out at 2,920 times a year, or 233,600 times in the average life.
A more interesting survey would reveal how many times we mean it. And it's ever increasing: our growing numbers mean more bumping, crashing, failing to understand and foisting and fobbing off. Politicians and corporations now regard it as a way of connecting, excusing and expunging rather than a sign of weakness. Trains do it, buses do it, even weather forecasters, footballers, roadworks and celebrities do it. I'm sorry, there's just too much of it.
- 1 Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Nineteen-year-old student left gifts for parents before taking her own life
- 4 Deliberately urinating before sex can increase risk of urinary tract infections
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
David Cameron says anyone criticising Eric Pickles' letter to Muslims 'really has a problem'
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