Sunday, April 04, 2010

The insult apology

The NY Times (or Int. Herald Tribune) has avery strange apology. You may know the non-apology apology, which pretends to apologize, but only expresses regret that anyone was offended. This Times apology is the insult apology. It pretends to apologize, but really repeats and emphasizes the insult for anyone who may have missed it the first time. It essentially says:
We made a deal with Lee not to call him a crook, but we broke that deal. So we are now saying that we did not intend the reader to infer that Lee is a crook, and we apologize to Lee for the distress of being labeled a crook.
This apology is much more insulting than saying nothing, because it suggests that the paper accidentally told the truth that Lee is a crook, in spite of some underhanded deal to cover up the truth. Perhaps the newspaper was only allowed to operate in Singapore if it was sufficiently respectful of the govt.

I had no idea that it was respectable to use such a brazenly insulting apology. I think that I will try it out myself.

I want to apologize for blog comments that some readers may construed to say that the new Apple iPad is a useless piece of junk. I had promised Steve Jobs that I would not point out the long list of shortcomings to that product, and not explain that it is a useless piece of crap. I wish to state clearly that I was not intending my readers to think that I had broken my promise to Jobs. I apologize to Jobs for any distress or embarrassment caused by any breach of my promise.

No comments: