Thursday, December 3, 2009

Word Thursday - Apology

I thought I would clear up the matter of the apology but it seems to have only gotten more murky. There seems to be a lot of apologizing going on lately. Tiger Woods in my opinion gave a very honest apology. I frankly believe he even assumed fault that was not his. very gallant thing to do. He offered no excuses - like maybe the breaking out of the back windows by his angry wife with the golf club caused the accident instead of rescuing him.

Gov. Sanford (remember him of the affair heard around the world) did not in my opinion apologize all that well. He merely provided everyone with excuses. All inadequate in the eyes of the law when he stands before his peers on ethic charges.

So I Googled the definition of apology. It is after all Word Thursday: APOLOGY

  1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.

    1. A formal justification or defense.
    2. An explanation or excuse: "The consequence of those measures will be the best apology for my conduct" (Daniel Defoe).

  2. An inferior substitute: The sagging cot was a poor apology for a bed.

I was frankly shocked at definintion number 2. That to me is not an apology but an excuse. So I looked up excuse.

  • accept an excuse for; "Please excuse my dirty hands"
  • grant exemption or release to; "Please excuse me from this class"
  • serve as a reason or cause or justification of; "Your need to sleep late does not excuse your late arrival at work"; "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again"
  • apologize: defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning; "rationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior"; "he rationalized his lack of success"
  • a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.; "he kept finding excuses to stay"; "every day he had a new alibi for ...
  • ask for permission to be released from an engagement
  • a note explaining an absence; "he had to get his mother to write an excuse for him"
  • excuse, overlook, or make allowances for; be lenient with; "excuse someone's behavior"; "She condoned her husband's occasional infidelities"
  • apology: a poor example; "it was an apology for a meal"; "a poor excuse for an automobile"

That was shocking. It seemed to say apology and excuse were interchangeable. So I googled more definitions for apology and in some instances what I consider an excuse is actually definition 1 and not 2. Is this because of current usage. Is there now now difference between an apology and an excuse? Sad state of affairs.

My father used to always stare us down when in the dock for some misadventure. "I want an apology and not an excuse," he would say. "If I wanted an excuse I would have asked for one." He clearly saw a difference. Do you?

Wish I was on 360 so I could insert a poll at this point.


RD said...

Indeed, it is a sad state of affairs when two words having dissimilar meanings are thought of as one. I would rather hear an apology than an excuse.

Bee's Blog said...

There is a vast difference between an apology and an excuse.

Not the same at all.

heatherbelle said...

I agree...definitely a huge difference between an apology and an excuse.
I'm guilty of apologising all the time and mostly for my neglect of this blog site. I have an