Ask The Boffin – Apologies and Medical Advice


The Beat Company wrote:

Is the OVERUSE of the word «sorry» in its provenience rather British or American? (This question particularly arises as the phenomenon lately sloshed the Channel/ the Big Pond and, in the very case, reached the Continent/Germany as a frequent loan word.)

Dear Beat Company, I am sorry that the overuse of the word “sorry” has invaded mainland Europe. I am sorry to say that the source of the sorry issues lies squarely in Britain. People seem to be sorry for everything. This frequently includes breathing, which confuses me as this is the one thing to not be sorry about. The sorry state of affairs there is that almost every conversation includes at least one usage of this apology. I am sorry that I do not know the origin of this continuous need to atone for even the slightest of reasons. I hope that this answers your question. If not, I am sorry.


Dana wrote:

Hi, Boffin! Do you give medical advice? My right lung has been hurting for almost a month, now, and last week, the whole right side of my torso started feeling very sore. The pain isn’t going away, what do you think is the problem?

Dana, it sounds like everything is working well on the right hand side. Signals are correctly being sent from your nerves to your brain where they are being registered as pain. The fact that you have no signals coming from your left hand side is much more worrisome. I recommend that you quickly see a doctor about these non-responsive pain receptors. This could be symptomatic of undiagnosed nerve or brain damage.

Remember, you can get your questions answered or great advice like Dana just did by emailing The Boffin at or going to the Contact page.

11 thoughts on “Ask The Boffin – Apologies and Medical Advice

  1. Sorry, (I’m not, not really, but, why fuss with a good theme?….), & I don’t wish to seem critical, but, I think it might, perhaps, be a good idea for the Boffin to KEEP HIS DAY JOB!

    Though reeking with sincerity and good will, I’m not sure there is a lot to be made in the advice column gig. Especially with such advice as the standard…. Not there is anything wrong with it, mind you, (beyond being all wrong, but, hey, this is America; what do you expect?…), but, I’m not sure that lady’s going to make it to ANY doctor with cancer like that…. which doesn’t bode well for future legal issues….

    Lots of fun, though, and well-executed (in EVERY sense of the word…), with a typical stiff-upper-lip sort of feel….


    gigoid, tongue firmly in cheek….


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Both of them are typically connected to the low ambient air pressure at high elevations. As a result the transfer of oxygen into the blood stream is reduced. Suggest you move to a lower altitude. Badwater in California is 266ft below sea level and the Dead Sea is at 1,407 ft below sea level. The may be more suitable locations for you. Being in deserts, they are also good for people with vitamin D deficiencies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Back to the blog – It is so British. As it gets more crowded now here there are so many sorries in the street from people bumping into each other. Try shopping in a supermarket without saying it – its impossible. What I hate though is when it is used before an insult: “Sorry but…. something offensive”, which means they are not sorry at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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