Apologies and class

On this page of an apology thread, there is no fewer than 8 people using the words “class”, “classy”, or “class act” to describe the apology/apologist. This is merely one example of many on the boards.

Where did the apology/class pairing come from? What’s it all about?

The British always apologise and they have all the class. Or something like that :smiley:

That answers when, apparently, but I am unsure about the why. My guess is that it is just a synonym for noble, which, of course, is a person born to high class that is expected to act classy.

I don’t think it’s always paired. It’s certainly possible to offer a half-hearted or insincere apology that isn’t “classy.” In that particular case, the poster posted an apology that many of us didn’t think was absolutely required, but we could see why it might be a good idea. Lots of us indicated that our own (less-classy) response would have been more along the lines of “It was a joke, get over it.”

Why “classy”? Because it wasn’t needed, but it was kind. It was articulate, well-thought out and offered with a depth of heart that indicated true caring for other people’s feelings - all things Miss Manners would approve of, and things associated with being of a good “class.” “Classy” is offering more than is required, whether a monetary tip or social consideration, and doing it with ungrudging grace.

Also, once one poster used the term, it seemed a good adjective, so 7 more people borrowed it! :smiley:

Sometimes an apology is bona fide. That’s when it becomes classy.

Sometimes an apology is written for the benefit of the ‘insulter’ himself. That’s when it becomes meaningless.

[NB: I think the poster of the link falls in the first category.]

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning the intent of the word “class” in that context - just wondering the reason it’s so commonly associated (on the SDMB) with an apology, rather than terms like “noble” or “good” or “humble” or “straight-up” or “shows integrity” or whatever.

The use of the word “classy” implies “noble,” “good,” etc. People regard a sincere apology as a “class act” because it so rare. :smiley:

I think it’s because it’s so much easier to pout and whine and scream and complain, and calming down, sucking it up, and apologizing (and truly meaning it) is the right (and noble, i.e. classy) thing to do.

That was a classy explanation! :stuck_out_tongue:

When I read it, I thought two things:

  1. Yeah, what WhyNot said…

  2. Damn, I which I had said that.

Incidentally, you’ve provided me with both an excellent definition of classy, and good advice on how to acheive it: do more than minimum required, do it with ungrudging grace.

I second this. In the U.S. at least, the word classy just means showing good manners, noble gestures, and being a mature person. It has a broad conotation that is rather hard to define but is understood by most people. No other word has exactly the same connotation.

The “which” which I used in the above post was the wrong wich. I wish I had caught it in the preview, which would have led me to write “wish”.

Trupa, bewitched, bothered, and (often) grammatically bewildered.

Well, I’ll be danged. That’s the first time I’ve been accused of being classy! Thanks, trupa! :stuck_out_tongue:

I consider “class” – the word and its usage – as something to be avoided at all costs. The only other word usage I put in this category is “mature”.

Generally, but not always, people who speak of class have no class. In the same vein, people who speak of being mature are not mature. “Grow up” is not generally heard in conversations among adults. “Show some class” is not generally heard in conversations among people with class.

The linked thread was an exception, but skirted the edge, in my opinion.

I’ve wondered the same thing. And I do think it is a SDMB-localized phenomenon.

This explanation, even without the accompaning and most appropriate follow-up, kicked me down to my toes.

Like it or not, WhyNot, you just made my watch list.