xkcd

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I’ve never quite understood why some people take offense at the use of the phrase “I’m sorry” in expressing sympathy about various situations. Much like most people who use the phrase, I’ve friends who take umbrage over my expressions of sympathy (or as they call it, “taking the blame”), always with the identical phrase of “Why? It’s not your fault.” It’s gotten to the point that I’ll express sympathy and then go on for 20 seconds expanding on the phrase so it’s known I’m expressing sympathy rather than guilt. Fortunately, xkcd has given us a different route: taking the blame. I’m not sure if I’ll follow in Randall Munroe’s footsteps, if only because I’m sure thousands of people are going to start doing this as well. Besides, maybe if I expand my explanation that my saying “I’m sorry” is sympathetic in nature so it goes on for a minute or longer, I might annoy my friends enough so they stop complaining when I do use the phrase. Especially when I am to blame.