Excuse Me?

by Gilbert Keith

I bump into someone while walking down the hallway.
Me: Excuse me.
Other person: I’m sorry.

Two people are chatting in a hallway. I have to go in between them.
Me: Excuse me.
Other person(s): I’m sorry.

Does one ALWAYS have to reply “I’m Sorry”? I thought the whole purpose of saying “Excuse Me” was to preemptively beg pardon. And when I preemptively beg pardon, it is only courteous of you to forgive me and not be sorry for me. I wonder what’s wrong with people. Why don’t they understand the rudiments of the language they call their mother tongue?

Ess-kizz me.