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Sorry About That:

The Language of Public Apology

SorryAboutThat“Conditional apologies, vague apologies, apologies not accepted: Why is it so hard to say we’re sorry and be done with it? With a clear eye and prose that never drags, Ed Battistella brilliantly illuminates the hidden dynamics of public apologies from the Oprah Winfrey Show to Mel Gibson’s downfall and from Joe Biden’s doubletalk to Woodrow Wilson’s shoelace-chewing mea culpa. You won’t be sorry you read this book.” –David Skinner, author of The Story of Ain’t: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published

Sorry About That is a bracing catalogue of human folly that stuck with me after I’d finished reading it. Battistella provides a panoramic view of shameful episodes and the subsequent apologies, confessions, and denials whose language he keenly dissects, in order to show all the ways that we have to genuinely apologize — and to wiggle free. Observers of public language will love the book. (So too, alas, will serial offenders.)” –Michael Erard, author of Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners