Sorry Not Sorry; A Canadian Story

“The use and abuse of ‘sorry’: Americans do not not say it, the British do not mean it, and Canadians overdo it” – The National Post

I read this article a little while back basically saying how Canadians overdo it when it comes to apologizing. We say it a lot. Although I never really noticed it until reading this article I realized just how much we do.

It’s funny though, a few years ago while I was in Mexico people would say to me “you must be from Canada” and I would ask how they know that since I do not say “aboot” and make a point of not saying “eh” . They would all respond the same “you are so polite and apologize for weird things”

So here is a list of things which I have apologized for.


+1. I say sorry when I walk into someone, when someone walks into me, when I nearly walk into someone, or when I walk into a mannequin at a store

+2. I say sorry when writing an email which is too wrong, a comment on someone else’s blog which was long, sending a really long text….basically speaking in general.

+3. I say sorry when responding to a text anything but immediately after receiving one.

+4. I say sorry for asking a question, for directions, where something in a store is located, interrupting someone who is working to help me.

+5. I say sorry for not swiping my debit card the right way and the employee has to tell me to flip my card.

+6. I say sorry when asking someone to repeat themselves because I couldn’t hear them.

+7. I say sorry when I cough, sneeze, hiccup, my stomach gurgles, or any other weird sound my body can make which is out of my control such as my nose whistling from having bad sinuses.

+8. I say sorry when I have paid for something (say a pack of gum which is $1.00) with a larger denomination (say $10.00), when I pay in mostly change, when I have to use my debit card for something under $3.00.

+9. I say sorry for calling someone, answering the phone in front of someone (as well as when I hang up for having taken the call), for missing someones call, for having to call someone back… Or my favourite, saying sorry to someone who dialed the wrong number and getting me instead of their intended person.

+10. I say sorry for someone holding the door open for an extra 3 seconds for me since I am not walking fast enough and they had to wait.

+11. I say sorry while after purchasing something taking a few moments too long to put my debit card in my wallet and then my wallet in my purse, causing the person behind me to wait.

+12. I say sorry when I am in a store and an employee asks me what the weather is like outside and I have to break it to them “I am so sorry, it’s raining/snowing/cold/anything but perfect”

+13. I say sorry when we go out to eat and I ask for Coke and they only have Pepsi products, when the waitress asks if we are ‘all set to order’ and I have to say ‘I am sorry! Can we have an extra few minutes?’, when for whatever reason the restaurant cannot make the food I ordered since they were out of something and I wasn’t aware.

+14. I say sorry when I am in someone’s way, when I walk past someone, and when there is a lineup for a washroom stall which I was in.

+15. I say sorry, for saying ‘sorry’.

+ Do you think Canadians say ‘sorry’ too much?

+ What do you say sorry for?


4 thoughts on “Sorry Not Sorry; A Canadian Story

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