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Suppose I'm replying to someone's email and it's long overdue - completely hypothetically :)

Starting with "Sorry for [ ... ] this". At first I thought I'd use "dropping the ball on" but it seems that "dropping the ball" refers more to making a blunder than to simply putting something off for too long.

Any ideas?

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I think this is Primarily Opinion-based. You might have been thinking of "Sorry for letting this one go off the boil". –  FumbleFingers Mar 16 at 13:38
I'll tell you later … –  David M Mar 16 at 14:02
You could make up an excuse: "Sorry for having overlooked this." Otherwise, why do you need to use this particular construction? Why not "Sorry for the delayed response" or any number of other perfectly good phrases? –  nxx Mar 16 at 21:29

2 Answers 2

You've let it slide, you've been dragging your heels, you've been putting it off.

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'Sorry for letting the grass grow under my feet' is probably going to deflect their annoyance by the mild humour involved.

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