Those words have almost no meaning to me now, and if you hear me utter them, I probably don’t really mean it. Sorry.
The obvious explanation for this is over-repetition. I work customer support, and the phrase I’m sorry and its variants, I apologize, I’m very sorry, and please accept my humble apologies, among others, used to mean something to me. I would have to actually feel guilt or shame to use them, but now I can say and write them without hesitation. I don’t even make that little pause before writing the word “humble,” which is something that used to stop me cold. “Humble” is the kind of word that makes one stop and ask themselves, Wait a second. How sorry am I really? But I have spoken and typed apologies so many times that they are now just words, vibrations in the air…
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