You’re right


“No; you’re right.”

I’m not sure where I picked it up, but it seems to be a new speech pattern that’s entered the language that makes much more sense than the higher-profile “Yeah, no, yeah.”

If someone says sorry, but it’s for something they really shouldn’t be apologising for, I won’t say “That’s okay”, because that’s like saying it was their fault.

“You’re right” conveys that they either they’ve done nothing wrong, or at least that whatever happened was a genuine accident.

So to the guy who didn’t see me and walked out of the gate with a ladder, blocking the footpath for all of 5 seconds as I was trying to walk past, it was nice of you to say “Sorry”, but you’re right. No blame apportioned. Have a nice day.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

8 replies on “You’re right”

I use “No problem”. If there really is no problem, they shouldn’t have to apologise for it.

Even if they shouldn’t have to apologise, you are at least being acknowledged. How many times should people be apologising or excusing themselves, yet they completely ignore you? Especially on the train.

I blame the young people, blah, blah……. :)

I do that “Yeah, no, yeah” bit regularly. Not sure if it’s a bad thing.

And if it’s a pithy thing that’s happened and someone apologises needless I’m all “No! It’s fine!”

I think of people saying “You’re right” as in “You’re right! You SHOULD be effing sorry!”. It never sits well.

Ren – I agree with you – I remember when people in shops would (still do sometimes) say ‘you right there?’ and how that was hugely annoying – as it really has no meaning… I’d go with ‘no problem’ to let the nice person apologising (as it’s so rare), know that there’s no problem!! :o)

i seem to remember ppl saying, ‘yeah [or ‘nah’], she’s right.’

how did ‘she’ get transmogrified to ‘you’?

i think ‘she’s right’ must have come from ‘she’ll be right’, in which ‘she’ was something female and, hence, unpredictable.

i think it’s more of an warding spell, a propitiation, even. by saying that this mysterious and unpredictable (and hence dangerous) ‘she’ will be all right, what we’re really saying is that we wish fervently that she will be all right, so that she’ll leave uz alone.

the transference from this mythical female third party to the personage actually present seems to make sense.

oh, and btw. if someone walks into me, or props a ladder in front of me, or somesuch, *i* say, ‘sorry’ to *them*.

very submissive, i know.

so i’ve trained myseln to continue this ‘sorry’ sentence as i move on, out of their earshot, to add a rejoinder along the lines of, ‘…that you’re blind and stupid…’.

I used to hate the expression ‘no probs’, but now that it is seldom heard, I quite think it is a good response. ‘No probs’. Now I just need to cure myself of the habit to respond to someone who walks into me and is on an unpredictable course, with ‘Sorry’.

Oh, how odd, I was just wondering to myself the other day when I starting saying “you’re right” in similar situations. Someone had bumped into me in the supermarket and apologised and I said “no, you’re right.” Then I realised that I say it quite often, I’ve no idea when or how that started!

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