Sorry – is it the hardest word to say?

Image by Timothy Brown, shared under a CC licence available at

Confession time: I say ‘sorry’ with almost compulsive regularity. I say ‘sorry’ instead of ‘excuse me’ and ‘sorry’ instead of ‘pardon’. If you stand on my toes, I’ll be the first to apologise and, after being berated by friends, family or colleagues for saying it too often, I’ve been known to say ‘sorry for saying sorry’. In the word cloud of me, SORRY would be writ large, outsized only by my cat’s name and a couple of choice swear words. So it comes as no surprise that I type before you as an apologist for apologising.*

Here at Mixed Messages, we invite you to send us some apologies. Not apologies meant for us – you haven’t done us any wrongs – but apologies that you meant to say to someone else but didn’t. That person you barged past to get on the bus, spilling coffee all down their suit? Show them your regret. The lover you were less than faithful to? It’s time to atone.

One Mixed Messenger wants to apologise to someone from their teens:

Sometimes I think back and you were there and then you weren’t. I didn’t even notice until you came back again. I hadn’t thought to look for you, hadn’t thought of you until you walked back into school half the girl you were before. The sun shone right through you. You were so frail that I worried you’d snap but really I knew you’d snapped already. I’m sorry I did nothing, thought of nothing but myself.

We’re accepting apologies of all kinds – they might be as heartfelt as the one above (which has stuck in my mind for days) or they might be comic. Leave us a voicemail or send us a text to 07856 853675. It’s better out than in and your words may be chosen to be in a poem. If you don’t like phones or you are based in another country and don’t relish the expense of an international call, you can email us at

You can also look at FAQ no.1 for more ideas of messages to send or follow our Twitter feed where we’re posting examples of messages we receive and poems we find.

*Fact: I interrupted the composition of this blog to tweet someone an apology for a typo.


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