This word has done a complete summersault in meaning, originally from the Greek 'apologia', meaning a speech in one's own defence, it has come to mean an admission of no defence - anything short of which is no longer regarded as a 'true' apology. Yet something of the flavour of 'excuse' seems still to hover around this word. We offer apologies sometimes almost as a reflex action, as if it were itself a kind of defence. What, I wonder, would it be to embrace an attitude of true defencelessness?
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