Sorry, but… is a phrase that really, realty annoys me. I hear it all the time, everywhere. The conversation goes something like this: Someone is laughing loudly about something. He or she finally gets under control and says, “Sorry, but that was hilarious.” Sorry? For what? Laughing, or because whatever was funny was insulting to someone else. Or bordered on being rude, overtly sexual, sexist, or any number of “ists or isms?” Sorry because you were loud? Sorry because, well, just because?
Why is it imperative that people now think they must always apologize for what they say or do both before and after they say or do something? If you do something, you mean it, or don’t do it. If you are going to say something that might hurt someone’s feelings, and you don’t want to or mean to, don’t say it. Otherwise, the apologetic murmur of the word, sorry, means absolutely nothing. If you are “sorry,”there is no “but” following, it is what it means, an apology.
Stop doing that. Stop saying that. You don’t mean you are sorry, or you wouldn’t do or say hurtful things in the first place. If you are ashamed of your upcoming statement or behavior, then you need to curb your tongue and control your impulses. You cannot salve hurt feelings by prefacing your words with “sorry, but…” and expect people to listen to you or trust your words and actions. It is one of the most passive aggressive utterances available to those with a lack of decorum and compassion.
There is no need to be “sorry but…” if you are a kind, sincere, aware person. There is no need to utter “sorry, but” if you say what you mean and mean what you say. Anything less is simply a manufactured and insincere utterance to cover your bad behavior. That is decidedly not cool.