not QOTY but borders on nonapology apology

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 5 17:25:45 UTC 2013

Doesn't the statement, "It's an inexcusable blunder on my part," and the
rest of his apology apology make this more than a non-apology apology?

(I presume that an "apology apology" is the opposite of a "non-apology

Tomlin is rejecting the "no harm, no foul" defense by admitting that
allowing the perception that he might have been trying to interfere with
the play is his "biggest error".

Cut the man some slack.


On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 9:29 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: not QOTY but borders on nonapology apology
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Dec 4, 2013, at 8:35 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
> > Mike Tomlin had some interesting phrasing in his public apology (during
> > press conference) for his "inadvertent" interference with a play in the
> > Steelers' last game.
> >
> >> On Tuesday, Tomlin struck a conciliatory tone -- and pretty much
> >> executed an about-face from his comments after the Steelers' 22-20
> >> loss last week, when he said he was in the white stripes that separate
> >> the sideline from the field because other coaches do the same thing.
> >> "I can't be in that space and I was, so I take full responsibility for
> >> that," Tomlin said Tuesday. "It's an inexcusable blunder on my part. I
> >> understand with my position comes the charge of preserving and
> >> protecting the integrity of the game of football, and I think probably
> >> my biggest error on Thursday night is not realizing that play
> >> jeopardized the integrity of the game from a perception standpoint."
> Seems more like his biggest error was going out onto the field in the
> middle of a runback.
> >
> > In case it's not obvious, I'm referring to the last PP "from a
> > perception standpoint". It's an interesting qualifier that's not quite
> > on par with with the standard non-apology apology language (e.g., "I'm
> > sorry some people were offended" or "I did not consider the possibility
> > that some people might find my otherwise innocent actions offensive").
> Or the standard mode: "I'm sorry if I offended anyone"; "If there's anyone
> I offended, I am deeply sorry"
> (with the unspoken "anyone thin-skinned enough to take offense at what was
> clearly…")
> > But it's in the same category. It suggests that the coach did nothing
> > wrong, but is apologizing for appearance of impropriety.
> >
> Yes, Caesar's wife and NFL head coaches must be above perceptions of
> impropriety.
> Didn't save him from shelling out 100K and possibly his team a draft
> choice.
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list