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Old 05-24-2017, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Yakima WA
4,403 posts, read 4,611,706 times
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One of the things I noticed when I moved to Washington state 5 years ago is that if someone physically bumps into you in a crowd or tries to squeeze past you they will always say "I'm sorry". It could be completely your fault and they will still say "I'm sorry"...it's like a reflex. I thought that was really nice and still appreciate it. I never heard that when I lived in Las Vegas (which is a melting pot from all over). The people here in WA are not especially outgoing but they are very polite.

A friend of mine moved from California to Texas and he mentioned this same thing to me. How everyone says "I'm sorry" if you physically bump into them. It might not seem like a big deal but if you haven't been around it before it's very pleasant.

So where in the U.S is "I'm sorry" the norm and where is it rarely said?
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:19 PM
 
1,586 posts, read 1,542,804 times
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I always say sorry after bumping into someone, even if it's not my fault. Always. I grew up in New York and now live in New England, though, and I wouldn't say it's common in either of those places.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
760 posts, read 590,462 times
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Not where I would have thought.

I lived in MN for awhile and I rarely heard it. People there were more likely to just look down, or away, and then just awkwardly run away.

I've heard it out East a lot, even in the crazy congested cities where there is a stereotype of being more rude.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:39 PM
 
Location: San Diego
571 posts, read 568,986 times
Reputation: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
One of the things I noticed when I moved to Washington state 5 years ago is that if someone physically bumps into you in a crowd or tries to squeeze past you they will always say "I'm sorry". It could be completely your fault and they will still say "I'm sorry"...it's like a reflex. I thought that was really nice and still appreciate it. I never heard that when I lived in Las Vegas (which is a melting pot from all over). The people here in WA are not especially outgoing but they are very polite.

A friend of mine moved from California to Texas and he mentioned this same thing to me. How everyone says "I'm sorry" if you physically bump into them. It might not seem like a big deal but if you haven't been around it before it's very pleasant.

So where in the U.S is "I'm sorry" the norm and where is it rarely said?
All over the west coast. But I never hear "I'm sorry". I mostly hear "sorry" or "oh sorry".
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:40 PM
 
Location: City of North Las Vegas, NV
11,290 posts, read 7,881,663 times
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a little bit off topic by Canadians are known for saying sorry for all kinds of reasons

NYC residents are not known for being polite
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
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I'm from CA, partially raised in WA, and I say it too.
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Moderator for Los Angeles, The Inland Empire, and the Washington state forums.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
4,155 posts, read 924,657 times
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It's just good manners to say, "I'm sorry", whether it was your fault or not.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Yakima WA
4,403 posts, read 4,611,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Ski View Post
Not where I would have thought.

I lived in MN for awhile and I rarely heard it. People there were more likely to just look down, or away, and then just awkwardly run away.

I've heard it out East a lot, even in the crazy congested cities where there is a stereotype of being more rude.
I spent my childhood in WI and never heard it there and wasn't taught to say it. Interesting that the Upper Midwest, where niceness is like a religion, is not one of the regions where this is the norm.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:17 PM
 
Location: San Diego
571 posts, read 568,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
I spent my childhood in WI and never heard it there and wasn't taught to say it. Interesting that the Upper Midwest, where niceness is like a religion, is not one of the regions where this is the norm.
So what is the alternative in the Midwest then if you bump into someone? Just ignore and walk away?
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:32 PM
 
142 posts, read 74,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapper23 View Post
So what is the alternative in the Midwest then if you bump into someone? Just ignore and walk away?
I've always said "I'm sorry" when I have bumped into some one. And "excuse me" if I'm budging through a crowd. I currently live in Wisconsin, having grown up in South Dakota. If people around here don't say "I'm sorry" (which I've not found to be the norm), they tend to just keep walking, acting like they didn't even notice bumping into you.
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