non-apology apology

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non-apology apology

A statement that shares qualities with a typical apology but lacks admission of wrongdoing or an indication of remorse. Often used in public relations. I don't think he's sorry at all. I mean, come on—"I'm sorry you feel that way" is a classic non-apology apology.
See also: apology
References in periodicals archive ?
Feeling the heat, Sims subsequently offered one of those "if it offends you" non-apology apologies. But you can understand why he was so unwilling to be genuine, given this introduction to his video:
If instead an avid-reader friend overreacts on a fairly regular but also unpredictable basis, rooted in an expectation of mind-reading believed to be legitimate and justified to the point where you find yourself trying to choose your words in advance so as to avoid triggering such overreactions, and/or the ensuing accusations of non-apology apologies, and/or follow-up conversations about ways you can be wrong in an argument even when you're right then it's time to form a different, equally apt response:
The tension between the lure of these benefits and the risks that apologies entail has led to the current state of affairs: a stasis point colloquially known as the "non-apology apology"--"a statement that has the form of an apology but does not express the expected contrition." (41) One commentator incisively illustrated the problem with this type of apology by asking a rhetorical question: "Can we sincerely express remorse, contrition and self-criticism if we believe we did nothing wrong?" (42) Non-apology apologies purport to convey the appearance of empathy, but actually ring hollow in the ears of many patients who have experienced adverse outcomes.
(43) Helmreich's reductio ad absurdum helps to shed some light on why "non-apology apologies" tend to be ineffective: '"I'm sorry for what I did but I'm above reproach,' or Tm sorry, but I'm completely pleased with myself over what I did.'" Id.
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