I have heard both of these words, عفوًا and عذرًا, used to mean “excuse me,” “pardon me,” or the like; as I learned عفوًا first, it is the one to which I tend to default in my own speaking of Arabic. But lately I have seen عذرًا more frequently, which leads me to believe that it may be gaining prominence. (Of course, it could all be coincidental as well). (I have heard عفوًا in response to شكرًا as well, but never عذرًا.)
Within the Middle East, when الفصحـىٰ is used, is one of these words preferred to the other, or is it mostly individual’s background/preference?
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