Perhaps the most overused three words in the English language is “I am sorry.” Of course, most people contract the subject and verb to “I’m sorry.” And those lazy folks will just say “Sorry.” I particularly hate just “Sorry” as it sounds so disingenuous.
I’m sure there are a few people who actually mean it when they say they are sorry for some stupid thing they did or if they hurt someone else. They feel remorse, make amends, and don’t do it again.
The problem lies in the fact that the majority of people will say “I’m sorry” and then continue the bad behavior that sparked the original apology. If you say, “I’m sorry” to someone for hurting them and then keep hurting them, every time you say that you’re sorry diminishes the meaning until the word dissolves into a hollow, worthless pile of nothing.
The apologizer oftentimes ends up getting angry at the apologizee for not believing that s/he is, in fact, sorry for what s/he did. I like to believe most people are simply clueless regarding this, but I do believe that there are some truly horrid folks out there who don’t care who they hurt and spout the word “sorry” ad nauseum with zero feeling.
Remember Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf?” In it, the titular character kept crying “wolf” to combat his boredom, thus causing a stir in the village and angering the villagers each time. Eventually, there was a wolf, but the fact that the boy kept issuing what amounted to a false alarm rendered this cry for help useless as nobody believed him anymore. Aesop closes out the fable with “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth!” Ain’t THAT the truth?!
The chronic overuse of the word “sorry” amounts to the same thing. If you say you’re sorry, be sorry and don’t do it again. Show remorse. Make amends. If you say “sorry” just to placate someone who you hurt, you don’t heal the damage, and if you repeatedly say “sorry” and continue the behavior, well, fuck you.