It's your call

Posted by R. Berg on April 27, 2003

In Reply to: It's your call posted by TheFallen on April 27, 2003

: : My boyfriend just got into a huge argument, and I need someone's help! If someone wrote to you, "so here is my written apology, in all its glory"--how would you intrepret it?

: Hmmm. That's very tricky. "In all its glory" is a phrase that nowadays is invariably used ironically and/or disparagingly, and I'd say that this is definitely the case here - the thing that is described as being "in all its glory" is being mocked and diminished. However that really doesn't help matters here, because I can see two very different ways that the mood and meaning of your sentence can be taken.

: a) Bill does something to upset Ted. Ted takes massive offence and (in Bill's eyes) totally over-reacts, demanding a written apology. Bill thinks this is completely ludicrous, but, to keep the peace, decides to go along with Ted's demand. Bill writes an apology to Ted and closes it with the line "so here is my written apology, in all its glory" with the implication being "Geez, get some perspective, will you? Why are you so hung up about something that's really not a big deal at all?"

: b) Bill does something to upset Ted and feels really bad about it. He wants to let Ted know that he's sorry, but is embarrassed about it. He finally decides to write Ted an apology, but closes it with the line "so here is my written apology, in all its glory" with the implication this time being "Awww man, I feel kinda stupid writing this" and implicitly inviting Ted to laugh along with Bill at how silly things have got between them.

: Two very different interpretations, and nobody but you will be able to best gauge which is more applicable to your situation, I'm afraid.

Another possibility:
c) Bill upsets Ted, who demands a written apology--or maybe the apology is Bill's idea. Bill knows his writing skill is poor. He hasn't mastered the nuances of English words well enough to get his point across. He writes the apology anyway and hands it over, with an ironic comment about "all its glory," an apology for the apology. He means "This is the best I can do, man. I hope it's good enough." Ted's uncertainty about what Bill means by that remark is further evidence for Hypothesis C. Once again Bill has failed to communicate clearly.

In fact, so many meanings are possible that it might be a good idea for Ted and Bill to get together and talk, in the company of a third party who might help them resolve their differences, without taking sides.