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The British pride themselves on their polite manners, from maintaining a stiff upper lip to obeying precise social etiquette for every occasion. And if there is one word which trips off the English tongue more than most languages and cultures, it is the word ‘sorry’. ‘Sorry’ can be used almost as a verbal tick as people apologise for anything ranging from the mundane to extraordinary, regardless of whether they are truly apologetic or not.

Indeed, recent data from YouGov found that for every 10 times American research subjects use the word, British research subjects say it 15 times. But where does this obsession with saying ‘Sorry’ stem from?

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