(Non Sequitur)

If you click on the link and see the strips for the five subsequent days, you get the full range of weasel words and phrases used to actually escape responsibility while claiming to accept it.

When someone in an official position says “I take full responsibility” for some disaster, it is meaningless unless it is immediately followed by “So I am resigning”.


  1. lanir says

    The weasel words seem to work because they’re all near misses on what you should be doing in that situation. You loudly proclaim you’ll “take responsibility” and then quietly don’t.

    Scumbags are a pain to deal with wherever you encounter them, though. I’ve led groups that had obnoxious members as well and it’s even less fun when you’re trying to protect a group at the same time as yourself and the jerks are messing it up.

  2. flex says

    I think there are a couple different ways to view the phrase, “I take full responsibility”.

    The first, as illustrated by the comics, is for someone who made a mistake or caused a problem to take acknowledge that they caused the problem, or made the mistake. There is an underlying message that they will correct the mistake, or at least offer restitution for causing the problem, but that is an implied message not an explicit one.

    But this same phrase is used in another sense as well. It’s used by people who did not make the mistake, or cause the problem, but are taking the actions to correct it. I currently have four people reporting to me. When they make a mistake I don’t throw them under the bus when reporting to my management. I say that “I take full responsibility”, with the understanding that I will ensure that the issue is corrected and try to ensure it never happens again. I have not admitted any guilt myself, or feel any. I’m doing the job which I see needs to be done.

    An executive who says they take full responsibility is usually saying they will work to correct the issue, not admitting guilt themselves, and will feel no pressure to resign.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    If you f*ck up so badly people die, the next of kin should be allowed to challenge you to pistols at dawn.

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