Abs of the week

… plus a kilt and an implied (sort of) apology:

(Hat tip to Paul Armstrong.)

It’s been a while since I posted images of shirtless men with astounding abs (and pecs, delts, traps, and biceps, but oh, those abs!), but this one comes with an offer that folds in (in if my kilt offends you)  a muted sort-of apology: ‘I’m sorry if my kilt offends you, but …’

The form

(1) I’m sorry if my X offends you

is somewhat more muted than the classic non-apology apology form

(2) I’m sorry that you are offended by my X

(both put the burden on the person who takes offense),

and the free-standing

(3) if my X offends you, …

(with no formal expression of sorrow) is still more muted than (1). But as it turns out, the form in (3) (or the longer form in (1)) is only very rarely apologetic; Kilt Boy’s bantering, seductive offer is unusually good-spirited, but most occurrences of these forms are at best deflections of the claim of offense, or quite commonly nakedly aggressive attacks on the addressee.

In the first ten pages of a Google search on “if my X offends you”, we find the following instances of X:

reply, atheism, flag, patriotism, comment, breastfeeding, opinion, humor, post, facebook, language, poppy, body, name, avatar, blog, sarcasm, speech, profile, presence, honesty, question, username, eating meat, spelling, black skin, page, shirt, laughter, confidence, grammar/spelling, ass, hair, story, style, art, ambition, faith, decision, belly, taste, freedom, testimony, passion

On rare occasions, these uses are in fact apologetic, as in this query submitted to Yahoo! Answers:

I’m sorry if my question offends you, but are any Dominican men circumsized?

I’m an American woman (age 28) and I heard that Dominican men are not circumsized, is this true?

Most men are circumsized in America so I was surprised to hear this

(Only a tiny percentage of Dominican men are in fact circumsized.)

More commonly we see deflection:

If my speech offends you, I don’t care, that is your problem.

If my website offends you, then don’t look at it.

And, very often, aggression or outright insult:

If my flag offends you, I will help you pack. [That is, get out of my country.]

If my humor offends you, fuck you.

If my post offends you blame your parents because they raised a pussy.

The last two are about as far from an actual apology as you can get.

2 Responses to “Abs of the week”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    I’m a little surprised — or should I be surprized? — that you picked up the woman’s misspelling of “circumcised”.

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