Discussion:
"I feel sorry" - "Don't be"
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Lothar Frings
2017-04-21 08:01:51 UTC
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Another Asimov thing:

(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)

"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."

I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.

But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
Mark Brader
2017-04-21 08:13:37 UTC
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Always a good idea to mention the title.
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
For me it works either way.
Post by Lothar Frings
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
Not exactly, but it's *more likely* to be an apology.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto, ***@vex.net | "What are u interesting in?" --seen in spam
Lothar Frings
2017-04-21 08:23:20 UTC
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Post by Mark Brader
Always a good idea to mention the title.
"Season's Greetings"
Katy Jennison
2017-04-21 09:14:21 UTC
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Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
Post by Lothar Frings
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
In this context "I'm sorry for your postman" would mean exactly the same
as "I feel sorry for your postman". "I'm sorry for braking your window"
is an apology, but "I'm sorry for [a person]" isn't. Context disambiguates.
--
Katy Jennison
musika
2017-04-21 09:58:47 UTC
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Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
Post by Lothar Frings
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
In this context "I'm sorry for your postman" would mean exactly the same
as "I feel sorry for your postman". "I'm sorry for braking your window"
is an apology, but "I'm sorry for [a person]" isn't. Context
disambiguates.
Mmmm. Time to take a break?
--
Ray
UK
Katy Jennison
2017-04-21 10:14:52 UTC
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Post by musika
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
Post by Lothar Frings
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
In this context "I'm sorry for your postman" would mean exactly the
same as "I feel sorry for your postman". "I'm sorry for braking your
window" is an apology, but "I'm sorry for [a person]" isn't. Context
disambiguates.
Mmmm. Time to take a break?
Damn! Too little coffee in the bloodstream.
--
Katy Jennison
Lothar Frings
2017-04-21 10:20:33 UTC
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Post by Katy Jennison
Post by musika
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
Post by Lothar Frings
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
In this context "I'm sorry for your postman" would mean exactly the
same as "I feel sorry for your postman". "I'm sorry for braking your
window" is an apology, but "I'm sorry for [a person]" isn't. Context
disambiguates.
Mmmm. Time to take a break?
Damn! Too little coffee in the bloodstream.
Always make sure they're is a fresh supply.
GordonD
2017-04-21 10:39:46 UTC
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Post by Katy Jennison
Post by musika
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
Post by Lothar Frings
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
In this context "I'm sorry for your postman" would mean exactly the
same as "I feel sorry for your postman". "I'm sorry for braking your
window" is an apology, but "I'm sorry for [a person]" isn't. Context
disambiguates.
Mmmm. Time to take a break?
Damn! Too little coffee in the bloodstream.
Or too much blood in the coffeestream?
--
Gordon Davie
Edinburgh, Scotland
Richard Heathfield
2017-04-21 10:01:42 UTC
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On 21/04/17 10:14, Katy Jennison wrote:
<snip>
Post by Katy Jennison
In this context "I'm sorry for your postman" would mean exactly the same
as "I feel sorry for your postman". "I'm sorry for braking your window"
is an apology, but "I'm sorry for [a person]" isn't. Context
disambiguates.
When I perused the above wisdom pearl, the 59th Street Bridge tune
inevitably sprang to mind, with words that went something like this:

Speed up, you go too slow,
You mustn't brake that ol' window!

(I wasn't happy with "ol'", but I needed the syllable!)
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-04-21 10:40:47 UTC
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Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
+1
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
In this context "I'm sorry for your postman" would mean exactly the
same as "I feel sorry for your postman". "I'm sorry for braking your
window" is an apology, but "I'm sorry for [a person]" isn't. Context
disambiguates.
--
athel
Tony Cooper
2017-04-21 13:57:25 UTC
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On Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:14:21 +0100, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
And standard in AmE.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
a***@gmail.com
2017-04-23 06:17:32 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
On Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:14:21 +0100, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
And standard in AmE.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Would this one have worked as well:

I felt sorry for your postman.
1) You shouldn't have been.

Gratefully,
Navi.

PS. I hope I am not braking up your party.
Tony Cooper
2017-04-23 14:53:11 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Tony Cooper
On Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:14:21 +0100, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
And standard in AmE.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
I felt sorry for your postman.
1) You shouldn't have been.
You are straying into the area of conversation where sentences are not
necessarily grammatical or complete...but they are understandable. In
ordinary conversation, when we don't pre-think what we are going to
say, we sometimes blurt out fragments and incomplete sentences that
can make perfect sense to the listener. The listener fills in what is
missing or wrong.

In "I felt sorry for your postman" I might reply "You shouldn't". The
listener would understand my meaning.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter T. Daniels
2017-04-23 17:46:32 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Tony Cooper
On Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:14:21 +0100, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
"Don't be" makes it clear that it means "don't be sorry for our
postman". Standard in BrE.
And standard in AmE.
I felt sorry for your postman.
1) You shouldn't have been.
No. That would be a reply to "I was sorry for your mailman."
Robert Bannister
2017-04-24 02:35:23 UTC
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Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
"I'm sorry for your postman" sounds as if he's dead.
"Don't" instead of "Don't be" sounds strange, almost rude.
--
Robert B. born England a long time ago;
Western Australia since 1972
Tony Cooper
2017-04-24 03:59:27 UTC
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On Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:35:23 +0800, Robert Bannister
Post by Robert Bannister
Post by Lothar Frings
(It's about a collector of greeting cards
who gets tons of them at Christmas time)
"I feel sorry for your postman," said Drake
in his softly hoarse smoker's voice.
Brown said, "Don't be. He takes a proprietary
interest and gives us special treatment."
I would have expected a mere "Don't." here.
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
"I'm sorry for your postman" sounds as if he's dead.
"Don't" instead of "Don't be" sounds strange, almost rude.
There is an element of rudeness to the "don't" in that context. The
speaker who replies to that question by denying that the postman
deserves to be felt sorry for is being brusque and firm in denying
that the postman deserves sympathy. "Don't be" doesn't lessen that
brusqueness or rudeness.

The next sentence, though, mitigates the brusqueness by providing a
reason.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Janet
2017-04-24 10:30:59 UTC
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[quoted text muted]
But I guess "I'm sorry for your postman"
would be wrong because "I'm sorry for..."
can only be used as an apology, right?
Not at all. It's also an expression of sympathy.

I'm sorry for your loss.
I'm sorry for the innocent civilians in Syria

Janet.

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