Sunday, September 24, 2006

AJC: Apologies, sorry and otherwise

An interesting look at what does and doesn't constitute a public apology - "'I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address which were considered offensive.''

In his minimalist mea culpa to Muslims last week, Pope Benedict XVI seemed to resort to the 'nonapology apology,' a classic technique used by many in public life. 'Terrible apology,' says Dr. Aaron Lazare, author of 'On Apology' and dean of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcestor. 'Any apology that has 'if' or 'but' in it is doomed,' says Lazare. 'You're not really apologizing.' A popular variant comes most often from husbands: 'I'm sorry for whatever I did.' The nonapology apology is also common in politics. A sampling:

'Yesterday, I apologized to anyone who may have been offended by the misinterpretation of my remarks.'

U.S. Sen. GEORGE ALLEN (R-Va.), whose campaign took a downward turn when he referred to a Democratic activist as 'Macaca' during a campaign stop"


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