Saturday, 11 October 2008

Word of the Day

Today's word is apologology, and thank you to The Economist, which claims to have coined the word. It describes the study of apologies, and an apologologist is one specialising in this study - specifically, Melissa Nobles of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This is certainly relevant to Australia, which made a notable apology for an undoubted wrong which took place against Australia's indigenous people. But the article also notes the proliferation of apologies, which reduces their impact - the recent apology by the Danish minister for culture for the depredations of the Vikings in Ireland a millennium ago, for example. And some events are particularly rich fields for possible apologies - the example of Hank Paulson, the US treasury secretary and former head of Goldman Sachs was given.

Did the Economist coin the word? Alas, not quite. A Google search shows one previous use in the online universe, in a blog called Little Green Footballs.

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