Some people apologize all the time, for everything. This can be very annoying.
Here’s a conversation:
- Mary: I like ice cream. I don’t want to order a slice of cake. I’m sorry.
- Darlene: Dude, you don’t have to apologize!
- Mary: Argh, I’m sorry about that.
Talking to Canadians: A how to guide.
Is over apologizing a Canadian thing?
It’s a stereotypical Canadian thing. It’s part of the culture but I’m not sure how it started. But basically we apologize for everything. Yesterday I was in a store and I backed up and bumped into a woman and we both apologized. It was 100% my fault (should look where I’m going) but she apologized first.
It’s a weird thing and part of the language the way saying “eh" (pronounced “ay") at the end of every sentence is. Which is to say that it does happen, and probably more often than other places, but not all the time the way comedians and so on would have you believe.
This is also very much a Southern US thing. We apologise for everything, all the time.
I don’t think that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about, actually.
That sounds like expected social noise, which is understood to not actually be an apology per se.
I’m talking about when someone really IS apologizing in a cringing kind of way, in contexts in which it’s not considered to be expected noise.