There’s nothing quite like the classic Canadian apology.
You won’t find people in any other country in the world who will say the word “sorry” to someone who is clearly in the wrong. This is a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. So unique, in fact, that the term carries legal weight in the province of Ontario.
The “Apology Act“, passed in 2009, is a direct result of Canada’s overuse of the word “sorry”. See, once upon a time, lawyers in court were probably able establish guilt quite easily. All they would have to do is prove someone apologized at the time of the incident and presto! the verdict would swing in their favour.
Of course, in Canada, such a trend would create massive problems, as everyone says sorry whether they are at fault or not. That’s why lawmakers cleared it up, stipulating that an apology of any kind “means an expression of sympathy or regret” and not “an admission of fault or liability in connection with the matter to which the words or actions relate.”
Only in Canada would such a law be necessary. Only in this country can you be rear-ended, exit your car and apologize to the person who just hit you.
“Sorry for getting in your way, friend. You must be in a hurry!” you’d say.
Before the act was passed, that statement could technically be seen as an admission that the accident was your fault. That’s why the Apology Act is the best thing to happen to Ontario, because now we can say “sorry” without fear.
Guy just walked directly into you? “Sorry!”
Someone dropped their wallet and you returned it to them? “Super sorry!”
Someone blocking a bus seat with their backpack? “I’m so, so sorry!”
Fast-food cashier got your order wrong? “PLEASE SORRY THANKS MAPLE SYRUP MOOSE.”
Because every Canadian knows, deep down, that half the time we apologize, we’re apologizing for the incompetence of the other person.
Sorry about that.