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Sorry/Not Sorry In Today's World

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"I'm sorry if anyone was offended by my statement." 

Have you ever heard that kind of apology and wondered about the sincerity of the apologist?  Notice, as you parse the phrase, that the person speaking is NOT apologizing for the statement, but for the reaction. 

Southern Oregon University Professor Edwin Battistella noticed the spate of half-apologies of recent years; he wrote a book about them: Sorry About That.  It's been released in paperback this year, not necessarily in time to coincide with election year and all the gaffes and apologies that brings.  Ed Battistella returns to bring us up-to-date on the state of apology.  
 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for over 35 years, working in both television and radio.