Monday, September 22, 2008

How to apologize: I'm sorry or my bad?

Yesterday in worship I was talking about how our culture has replaced "I'm sorry, will you forgive me?" with "My bad." I wasn't feeling good about this. During a talkback a teenage guy disagreed with me and said that "My bad" carries with it all the meaning of "I'm sorry, will you forgive me?" I responded with, "I guess some translation is needed at that point."

Later that night we talked again in the parking lot about how language shifts. At one point "charity" got replaced with "love." Are we in the midst of a language shift where "I'm sorry" will be replaced with "My bad?" My teenage friend did admit that youth like to change things just "to be weird."

So I am trying to be open to this shift but something in me is resisting big time. What do you think?



Jenny Smith said...

An interesting question. I try hard to take responsibility for the times I screw up and for me, saying "my bad" means I'm sorry. But not necessarily "will you forgive me?" I think that's another step many of us don't take.

dave said...

I agree, Jenny. I've used "my bad" on the basketball court. It is a confession of sorts. But it doesn't go to the next step which is to ask forgiveness. Forgiveness is not simply a one way proposition. It involves a response from both persons in a hurtful situation. Now all we need is for a colloquialism for "Will you forgive me?" How about "We good?"