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The Art and Craft of Saying Sorry

Mr Franco Guo is in the soup for uttering one of the most rascist remarks made by a blogger to date, too uncouth to be republished here, on his blog (see Google’s cache).

Mr Guo has since been arrested, and apologised. Much has been discussed on the blogosphere about his racism, bigotry and what not, so we shall not spend any more time talking about it. Instead, it is interesting to note the way he had apologised:

Sincere Apologies

Dear Readers,

I would like to express my sincere apologies for any misinterpretation to my blog entry [italics added].

I regret having mentioned this entry in my blog which I didn’t expect it to turn out to be like this, I should have been more mindful.

Once again, I am sincerely apologetic for the recent events that had happen.

Your’s sincerely, Franco

Mr Guo may not be the most grammatical or tactful blogger around, but he sure has learnt quite a bit about the art and craft of apologising. It may also be instructive to look at the top three apologies made by our leaders in recent times–which may be the source of Mr Guo’s inspiration.

No. 3, Lee Kuan Yew to Abdullah:

I am sorry that what I said has caused you a great deal of discomfort. After a decade of troubled relations with your predecessor, it is the last thing I wanted.

No. 2, Wong Kan Seng on the escape of Mas Selamat:

This should never have happened. I am sorry that it has.

Holding on to the top spot still has to be Wee Siew Kim on behalf of Wee Shu Min:

… I think if you cut through the insensitivity of the language, her basic point is reasonable, that is, that a well-educated university graduate who works for a multinational company should not be bemoaning about the Government and get on with the challenges in life.

Nonetheless, I have counseled her to learn from it. Some people cannot take the brutal truth and that sort of language, so she ought to learn from it…

Comparing Mr Guo’s apology with these exemplars, one would realise that there are striking similarities between his apology and Wee Siew Kim’s apology. The former is sorry that you, yes you, misguided reader, have misinterpreted his blog; the latter is well, sorry that some people cannot take the “brutal truth”.

Both of them lack the finesse displayed in Lee’s apology–which although did not apologise for what he said, but is sorry that it is causing Abdullah “a great deal of discomfort”.

See, saying sorry is also an art and craft.

  1. Next time i shall use that method too.. seem to get one’s ass off anything

  2. There must surely be good “sorry templates” one can use out there to get one’s ass off hot soup.

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