This post was inspired by a recent post on Mindless Overthinking about the psychology behind excuses. I left a comment about distinguishing between reasons and excuses, and I thought the idea was worth some further expansion.
The Oxford English Dictionary includes many definitions for “reason”, but these are the most relevant for this purpose:
A cause, ground, or motive
- Of a fact, event, or thing not dependent on human agency
It defines an excuse as:
That which is offered a reason for being excused; sometimes in a bad sense, a (mere) pretext, a subterfuge
- A plea for release from a duty, obligation, etc.
The differences may be subtle, but I think they’re actually really important. The word excuse carries with it a lot of negative overtones. It sounds like an attempt to get out of something that you really should be doing but just don’t want to…
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