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Understanding Apologies: How To Say 'Sorry' Effectively & How Many Apologies Fall Short


When is it a good idea to apologize and how to do it well? (Hint: if you use the word "misunderstanding," it's not a good apology.) We see all kinds of examples of less-than-stellar apologies on a regular basis, especially from politicians and corporate leaders who are in hot water. We'll discuss both high-profile and personal apologies. Joining us for the program are the two authors of the website "Sorrywatch,” which tracks public apologies good and bad.


Susan McCarthy, author of Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild and co-author with Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson of When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals. A modest person, she seldom mentions that the latter book was an international bestseller.

Marjorie Ingall is a columnist for Tablet magazine. She has written for many other magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Wired, Glamour and Sassy. She’s the author of Mamaleh Knows Best; the co-author of Hungry; the author of The Field Guide to North American Males and other works.


Jennifer walked into her college radio station as a 17-year-old freshman and never looked back. Even though she was terrified of the microphone back then — and spoke into it as little as possible — she loved the studio, the atmosphere and, most of all, the people who work in broadcasting. She was hooked. Decades later, she’s back behind the radio microphone hosting Maine Public Radio’s flagship talk program, Maine Calling. She’s not afraid of the mic anymore, but still loves the bright, eclectic people she gets to work with every day.