Adventures in buying sandwiches

I just took a break from last-minute working on 50-page paper (really better not to ask how it's going) to go get nourishment.

In the course of my getting a sandwich, the sandwich-maker used a type of meat that I don't normally eat. I asked for it to be removed, she pointed out (incorrectly) that I had asked for it. After a couple of back and forths regarding whether it was my fault ("but you asked for X") or hers ("No, I asked for Y, which doesn't have meat"), the manager stepped in, fixed my sandwich without the meat.

Later, when I went to pay, I said I was sorry for having caused trouble during the holiday. The manager's response was:

"Don't say sorry, say 'I apologise'. It wasn't your fault."

While I'm well aware it wasn't my fault, I still don't get the distinction made between "I'm sorry" and "I apologise". Why is the latter acceptable and the former not? Funny.


At 5/20/2006 11:09 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Probably has something to do with an apology being a formal statement, and saying "I'm sorry" being an expression of real regret. Not a real distinction, but I've heard people make it before.

At 5/21/2006 1:00 AM, Blogger Priya said...

Ah, apology = distancing myself from my actions I'd never heard it before...Americanisms :-)

Am in (slight but increasing) mode of panic.

At 5/22/2006 11:59 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Nah, more like your actions were unrelated to the problem, but you still felt it appropriate to mention that something had happened.

Makes sense now, doesn't it.

At 5/23/2006 12:54 PM, Anonymous serena said...

LOL apologize is the most appropriate term...you are apologetic for the display with the sandwichmaker, but not sorry because it was not your fault.

At 5/24/2006 5:13 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Which is a distinction that doesn't come from the definitions of either word. But is still a distinction people use all the time.

At 5/25/2006 11:02 AM, Anonymous serena said...

cultural distinction...socialization of humanity!

At 5/25/2006 10:26 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

It's all about the socialization, man.


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