Monday, August 23, 2010

Condolence Phrase Frequency

The most popular condolence phrases was:
I'm sorry for your loss, or
I'm sorry to hear about your father
This came from most everyone, but more from Israelis and the religious.

The next most popular condolences were the traditional Jewish ones:
May God comfort you (among the mourners of Jerusalem and Zion) / may you be comforted,
May his memory be a blessing, or
Blessed be the true judge
One non-Jewish friend offered the first one of these to me.

In third place was the phrase:
Please accept my condolences / sympathies / commiserations
Strangely, only Jews offered this version. The last one was offered by one weird friend.

The least popular was:
My thoughts / prayers are with you
I thought this was going to be in second place, but I was wrong. This phrase was offered only by Americans: non-religious Jews or other friends (the "prayers" variant by religious Christians).

Oddly, no one offered this (apparently deprecated) form of condolence:
Our hearts go out to you during your time of sorrow
Nor any other form of heart, e.g. "you are in our hearts". Hearts appear to be passe.
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