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Sorry, but could I trouble you for some research?

Candy Bowman, of Dovetail Confident Communication Skills Training, is conducting some formal research into how frequently people say the word “sorry”.

The overall objective is to make a short film that illustrates ways that people, particularly in the UK, use this word when there is no reason to allocate blame. The aim of the film includes providing options for alternative, more measured responses.

The research results will add weight to funding applications to cover the cost of making the film. All feedback will be confidential and no names will be included in the findings.

Candy said: “The sorry “twitch” is a quirk of communication, especially in the UK. At best it has a positive intention as an expression of graciousness.

“However, it can get out of hand and become a self- deprecating habit with no real content or meaning. A question is, are we apologising for a wrong doing, however slight, or for ourselves? Going to an extreme, there are possible litigious implications. For example, if we say “sorry” after a road accident, we have technically admitted liability, even when it is not our fault.”

She added: “If the subject is of interest to anyone reading this article, could they please note the number of times they say “sorry” over a single day and send the findings to Please also use this email address, or the mobile number, 07971 865036, to raise any questions or requests for further information.”

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