Rebroadcast: I'm Sorry, But May We Discuss Tentative Speech?

at 9:00 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

This article is more than 7 years old.
 (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

A recent New York Times opinion piece claimed that women apologize all the time - even when something is not their fault. It's known as "tentative" or "indirect" speech, when people - usually women - start their sentences with "I'm sorry" or "If you don't mind." Is this something you do? Have you tried to change the way you speak - or do you use it to your advantage? We'll dig into the nuances of tentative speech... if you don't mind us doing that.


Cristen Conger, co-creator and host of "Stuff Mom Never Told You" podcast and YouTube brand; senior writer and host at How Stuff

Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics, Georgetown University; author of "You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation" and "Talking From 9 to 5"

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita in the Linguistics Department, UC Berkeley; author, "Language and Woman's Place"