To all the writers of books, movies, stories, TV shows, etc., and to real life people in actual encounters where someone says, “I’m sorry.”;
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
And in a similar fashion to how Roger Ebert’s quantified how he felt about really horrible movies, it has gotten to the point where I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate it when characters or real people say, “I’m sorry.”, when they’re not. And they aren’t.
Think about it. Wait, no, I need to explain it a bit further as context is important. Then think about it.
If someone said, “My mom just passed away.”, and a good friend replied, “I’m sorry.”, it is technically not proper English to say, “I’m sorry.” When someone apologizes it implies they are at fault and responsible in some fashion for an event that took place. So is the friend admitting they had a part in the mother’s death? Hopefully not.
The correct way to respond would be to say, “I’m sad.”, or “I’m sad for your loss.”, or “How terrible.”
This falls into the same category as peeing and hand washing. IE, it has been scientifically proven that washing one’s hands before one pees is far more hygienic than washing afterwards.
Oh and for the people that say, “…went missing.”, they made a word for that. It’s called ‘Disappeared’.