This habit of the British I find both amusing and endearing. I know, I’m strange, but what can I say? I mean they apologise for everything. Even if it’s not their fault. Of course it often feels like I apologise too much, but in reality I use two words in an attempt to convey a lot more.
For instance, as I write this post, I’m talking to Jean and this is part of our conversation:
Her: I ache
Me: I’m sorry
Her: not your fault, tiz this damned cold
Well I know it’s not my fault that she’s aching. I didn’t smack her around a few times leaving her bruised and battered. But what I actually meant (but was too lazy to type out in full) was ‘I’m sorry you’re not feeling well.’ It’s meant to be sympathetic.
Of course the rest of this country isn’t very apologetic. Why apologise when you can blame someone else?