Suppose you were to come round a street corner and almost bump into a person going the other way. Odds are, nowadays, that one or both of you will say “sorry!”.
This is new. Once upon a time we would have said “excuse me.” What changed?
I think it must be that the primary sense of “excuse me” has gone from meaning “please forgive me for being in your way” to “I’m coming through, please get out of my way”. Nowadays people might take “excuse me” to mean “what the hell are you thinking, getting in my way like that??”
Am I right? Has anyone else noticed this? If this is indeed what’s happened, what underlying social change is this symptomatic of?