Heen, Sheila
May 2003
Real Simple;May2003, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p225
Apologizing is one of the first things we teach our kids about how to get along with others. A 1994 British study of medical malpractice cases found that 37 percent of litigants would not have sued if they had gotten a full explanation or an apology from a doctor. A thesaurus captures this dilemma by offering two sets of synonyms for apologetic. The first set seems to describe how we're supposed to feel: regretful, sorry, contrite, remorseful, self-reproachful, penitent. The second usage seems to describe how we often really feel: making excuses, defensive, extenuatory, vindicatory, justificatory.


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