When I was a young man (and dinosaurs trod the earth), if a person found himself accidentally obstructing someone’s way, he said: “Excuse me.”

This is no longer so. Now, everyone says: “Sorry”.

Why is this? When I first noticed this change, a year or two a ago, I thought nothing much of it. Now I’m not so sure; I think it must be diagnostic, somehow.


  1. Whitney says

    I say “pardon me” but I did start doing it on purpose because everyone saying “sorry” was driving me crazy.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
  2. I think the expressions “Pardon me” and “Excuse me” have assumed a confrontational connotation instead of their literal meaning of “my bad”. That is why I, for one, now choose to say “Sorry”, which I believe is still normally taken as an admission of “guilt”.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink
  3. the one eyed man says

    When our host was much younger, he inadvertently dialed the wrong number. (The use of the verb “dialed” shows you just how long ago this was.)

    “My sincerest apologies, madam.”

    Malcolm may be sadly mistaken about many things, but you can’t fault him for being impolite.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink
  4. Whitewall says

    OEM…Hah! I bet it was a party line too!

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink
  5. The one eyed man says

    I’m not here to tell tales, spill beans, or let cats out of bags. So I can’t say.

    What I can say is that he has a puzzled and startled look in his picture in our high school yearbook. When the photographer was about to snap the picture, instead of “say cheese,” he instructed young Malcolm to “say penis.”

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

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