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Monday, December 04, 2006

Apologizing like a Canadian

Last Monday I taught you how to talk like a Canadian. Now I'm going to take it up another notch. I'm going to teach you how to apologize like a Canadian.

Lesson #1: Say you're sorry when you haven't done anything wrong.

If you step on someone's foot, or if someone steps on your foot, there is only one proper response: Sorry.

If someone's in your office and the phone rings, and you know you have to answer it, there is only one proper response: Sorry.

Lesson #2: Say you're sorry when you need to get someone's attention.

If you're sitting in a restaurant and you want more coffee, snap your fingers and say "Garcon!" in an annoyed voice. No, wait. Don't do that. Tentatively raise your eyebrows and try to catch the waitress's eye. When she sees you, lift your coffee cup and say "Sorry?"

If you need to talk to your boss, tap on the door and say "Sorry?"

Lesson #3: Say you're sorry when someone didn't speak clearly.

If you didn't hear what another person said, but he or she is waiting for a response, raise your eyebrows and say "Sorry?"

Lesson #4: Say you're sorry when you're not sorry.

If you are dealing with a particularly obnoxious person who thinks he or she merits special attention, say "Sorry, we won't be able to do that." Then hang up the phone or walk away in a huff.

Lesson #5: Say you're sorry to express empathy.

If someone is sick, say you're sorry.

If your friend's pipes freeze, say you're sorry.

Lesson #6: Say you're sorry when your wife catches you doing something wrong.

When you leave your dirty socks on the living room floor, say you're sorry, but not until your wife trips over them.

When your wife finds your extensive collection of gay pornography, say you're sorry.

Lesson #7: Don't expect your wife to apologize.

Sorry, but we don't do that.