Why “My Bad” Isn’t an Apology

By September 11, 2013April 11th, 2017Communications

My favorite “my bad!” was from Cher Horowitz in the movie Clueless.

This post may not reach its intended audience. I doubt any of my regular readers commit this grievous error, but I have no doubt that they’re hearing it from others. Saying “my bad,” is not the same as saying “I’m sorry.” In fact, it’s more like saying “oops!” “My bad,” is completely insincere and flippant, but you know that, and never ever use it to actually apologize.

Here’s what I’d like us to do — let’s not continue to let “pardon me,” “excuse me,” “I’m sorry,” “I apologize,” devolve into “my bad,” permanently. Instead, the next time someone utters that phrase to you, just ask: “Is that an apology?”

Some language evolution can’t be stopped (see: YOLO, lolz, the verbal hashtag and more), but I think this one can. Don’t take for an apology what really isn’t.

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