"Chain Reaction of Sorrys"

Posted by Bob on June 16, 2005

In Reply to: "Chain Reaction of Sorrys" posted by Cristina Glaeser on June 16, 2005

: "Chain Reaction of Sorrys"
: I have come across this in a text I have to translate into German. I'm wondering whether this is a fixed saying in English? And if so, what is its exact meaning?

Not common; at least, I've never heard it. It seems like a fresh turn of phrase, though, and an interesting way to describe the endless loop of apologies that happen when two polite people each try to take the blame for a situation. "I'm sorry. My fault." "Not at all. I'm sorry my foot got in the way of your hammer." "No, pardon me. I'm sorry I greased the handle of the hammer." Etc., etc.