We all know that English has its limitations. Heck, we only have one word for “snow.” But I would like to bring to your attention a serious shortcoming that demands some quick action on the part of word inventors. The word “sorry” is used both to apologize and to express sympathy. This gets us into inevitable misunderstandings. How many times have you had the following conversation, about your tuba?
Person A: “My tuba is rusty.”
Person B: “I’m sorry.”
Person A (with annoyance): “Why are you sorry? You didn’t make my tuba out of iron & leave it to rust in the back yard.”
Person B: “I mean I’m sorry for you that that happened to your tuba.”
Person A is understandably in a very bad mood. Clearly, he was sold a bad tuba. Plus, he is mad at himself for leaving it out in the rain. He thought maybe it would wash off the cat pee. So when Person B tries to express sympathy, Person A snaps at her. By the way, I was initially planning to name my children Person A, Person B, Person C, etc., but I thought that the others might feel jealous of Person A, even if they didn’t mention it out loud. It would always be there – that sense of ranking among the children.
So, we need a 2nd word. “Sorry” can express an apology, and a new would could express sympathy. Something similar to “sorry.” Maybe “I’m symorry.” Anyway, I leave it up to you to come up with a good new word. I will forward the submissions to the word authorities in whichever cultural think tank does that sort of thing. I’m thinking it may be an urban youth-dominated think tank, since new culture generally seems to come from those sources. You can send your submissions to this blog. Thank you.
Stay hip to the lingo! Look under the daisy for some new tech words: