If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 2 October 2010

That Apology

Phil Walker over at The Melangerie has an interesting point to make about 10:10's 'apology' for the 'No Pressure' débacle:

"Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn't and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended." (from the 10:10 site, my emphasis)

... the person wants to portray the complainant as part of a minority, a way to set themselves in the majority. I'm hardly a rampant postmodernist, but even I can see that this is a simple play for power using words: 'I have many people on my side; you only have some.'

The 'many … some …' construction is a wonderful way to puff yourself up and to paint your position as more defensible than really it is. In fact, if you find yourself feeling a need to use it in order to locate yourself in the majority, the odds are that you're the one in the wrong. So let me encourage you, when you apologise (yes, when), not to use it. Apologise graciously, rather than attempting to justify your position by the back door.

Well said.

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