When my daughter’s friend got in trouble in middle-school for saying something under her breath during class, she was commanded to write a single-spaced two-page letter of apology to the teacher. I thought this was extremely stupid. How can anyone go on for two whole pages of apology without being sarcastic? Being a writer, always up for having fun with words, I offered to help. Here’s what the three of us (and a thesaurus) came up with:
I am sorry. I am very sorry. I am extremely, grievously, exceedingly sorry. I am truly greatly sorry. Truly.
In anguish and pain, I admit that I am acutely, indispensably, just so sorry. I am surprisingly, astonishingly, incredibly and wonderfully sorry. I am particularly, and most certainly sorry. I am positively exaggeratedly, emphatically, really pretty decidedly sorry. I am very sorry.
I am pressingly, notably, uncommonly, and extraordinarily sorry. Prodigiously, highly, substantially, dearly, amply, vastly, extensively, and noticeably sorry am I.
I really am.
I am conspicuously and largely sorry–considerably, hugely, excessively, imperatively, markedly, enormously, immensely, tremendously, superlatively sorry. That’s just how sorry I am. I am remarkably, even unusually sorry.
I am immoderately, quite indeed, simply, intensely, urgently apologetic. I am exceptionally, severely, seriously, and in a great measure, sorry. I am to a great degree, and beyond compare, sorry. Regretful, even. the guilt that wells up in my veins spreads throughout my bloodstream like a poison. It eats away at my soul. My swollen heart is bleeding guilt. The only way to cure the utterly numbing sorryness is to say…
I am so very, very sorry. I am awfully, almightily, and in the extreme, sorry. I am on a long scale, ever so dangerously sorry. I am without restraint, beyond being sorry. In fact, I am so sorry that I cannot see through my tears. Please excuse the typos and grammatical errors that my sorryness has caused me to create. I am soooooooo sorry. I am powerfully, and preciously sorry. I am rightly sorry.
Good and sorry I am.
I am in the extreme of sorryness. To a GREAT extent, I am sorry. I am interestingly, spaciously, expandedly, valiantly, determinedly sorry. My repentance knows no bounds. Regret fills the humbled shell of my remorseful existence. I am mortified by the burning shame of my contrite penitence.
Ruefully, I must admit the crestfallen, conscience-stricken, uncomfortable, stuttering shame of my chagrin. I am outstandingly, compellingly, potently ashamed of my ill-timed and outspoken outburst. I am stringently, strongly, unanswerably, irrefutably sorry. Words are inadequate to express the mournful melancholy that grips my sorry self. Mere adverbs cannot describe the sadness, anguish, and grief that troubles my pitiful,lamenting form. With head bowed, I bemoan the harm my inadvertent outburst might have caused. With blistered knees I crawl across the hard floor of my self-condemnation.
In sorry shame, I whack my aching forehead against the splintered wall of my self-inflicted distress.
I hope you accept my apology. Though perhaps two pages of pitiful worthless words dilute the power of a single heartfelt line of sincere lament, I long to replace these two required pages with one simple sentiment.
I am sorry I was rude to you.