Thursday, November 24, 2016

Three Apologies

Former prime minister Steven Harper's 2008 Statement of Apology on behalf of the Canadian federal government "to former students of Indian residential schools" excited my interest in the apology as genre.

Here are two more recent apologies, the first from President Elect Donald Trump, via YouTube, the second a third-person apology from former UBC professor Steven Galloway as issued through a "litigation boutique" to the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun and The Walrus, who in turn reported it to us.

Of the three apologies, that which was issued by the Canadian federal government contains the fewest qualifications (Trump used the occasion of his apology to further his campaign, while it is unclear as to what Galloway's third-person is apologizing for, and to whom). A reason for this could be a dialogical approach to the genre, where the apologizer worked with the recipients of that apology in advance of the completed text.

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