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In writing a question for Programmers StackExchange, I wanted to write a sentence similar to "To my credit, I did foo, bar, and baz," except foo bar and baz are bad things so they are actually the opposite of being to my credit. What is a the opposite of the phrase "to my credit"?

Possibilities I considered:

  • "That said..." - This is what I used, but it required me to rework my sentence somewhat.
  • "Not to my credit..." - Awkward.
  • "Against my credit..." - Might work, but I've never heard it used before.
  • "To my debt..." - Takes the credit/debt metaphor too far.
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"However, I admit that", "Having said that", "On the flip side". –  Manish Aug 15 at 18:34
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The answer could, potentially, be as easy as, "to spite my code, I barred my line." –  TheGenesisBloke Aug 15 at 22:39

4 Answers 4

up vote 26 down vote accepted

An idiomatic phrase for this is “to my shame”. One might also say “To my discredit, I did ...”. Google Ngrams for to my detriment,To my detriment,to my shame,To my shame,to my discredit,To my discredit shows that to my shame has appeared in print 3 to 4 times more frequently than the next most frequent phrase, which often has been To my shame (as it would appear at the beginning of a sentence). Google ngrams shows the phrase To my detriment is shown as not found.

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"To my shame" carries a bit more of an emotional connotation that I was intending to convey, but it and "to my discredit" are both good suggestions. Unfortunately, it seems I can't upvote yet, sorry! –  Drake Aug 15 at 18:52
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@Drake: Erm... I think in these contexts, shame is effectively the "opposite" to credit. It's not a matter of "emotional" connotations - simply positive/negative. –  FumbleFingers Aug 15 at 18:56
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+1 for "to my discredit," which I like becase it explicitly name-checks the more common expression you're riffing on. –  Vectornaut Aug 15 at 22:08
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@FumbleFingers: I disagree. To see this better, compare "to his credit" vs. "to his shame": "to his credit" means that I, the speaker, feel positively about what he did, whereas "to his shame" means that he feels ashamed of what he did. –  ruakh Aug 16 at 1:02
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@FumbleFingers: My point is that "to my shame" is emotional in a way that "to my credit" is not. I brought up the "his" in order to make this obvious. (But I like your idea that, in describing an emotion, it's "splitting hairs" to care about who's having the emotion. "Why are you still mad at me? I already said someone was sorry!") –  ruakh Aug 16 at 16:28

To my chagrin, which Merriam-Webster defines as

chagrin

a feeling of being frustrated or annoyed because of failure or disappointment

The Google Ngram shows that "To my chagrin" was (until recently) a little more popular then "To my shame". However both are currently behind the Latin phrase mea culpa which means "Through my fault".

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Being unable to upvote all these great answers is very frustrating. –  Drake Aug 15 at 19:09
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It's important to notice that chagrin does not confer any responsibility to the speaker, whereas shame does. I think the OP is looking for a term which specifically implicates his misdoing. –  Daniel Aug 15 at 23:25
    
@Dan Mea culpa! –  Elliott Frisch Aug 15 at 23:47
    
@Drake Looks like that isn't a problem any more! –  Elliott Frisch Aug 17 at 2:06
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In context -- "To my chagrin, I [did x]" -- it should be clear that they are taking responsibility. Anyway, I think this fits far better than "shame" (for the reasons given by commenters). –  Frank Aug 17 at 2:09

"To my detriment".

Full Definition of DETRIMENT
1 : injury, damage
2 : a cause of injury or damage
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detriment

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Ah, so simple, so direct. Thanks! –  Drake Aug 15 at 18:36
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Of all the suggestions here, "to my detriment" is definitely the one I'd be most likely to use. (Native BrE speaker) –  GeorgeMillo Aug 16 at 10:57
    
Same here (Native AmE speaker) –  nomen Aug 17 at 5:28

Popular with young people right now is: My Bad as in: My bad; I did foo, bar, and baz,"

If you you're working with software engineers, you might want to keep you writing young and hip. There's no room for old software engineers as I'm finding out :)

"There are old programmers, and there are bold programmers, but there are no old, bold programmers". Blatantly plagiarized from Chuck Yeager.

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Yes, it's popular but it is also awful. –  dmckee Aug 16 at 21:08
    
@Dave regarding older programmers, please see blog.cleancoder.com/uncle-bob/2014/06/20/MyLawn.html Perhaps whoever's hiring the young and hip "software engineers" needs to see whether it's worth it. - Your fellow "older" programmer –  DaveBoltman Aug 20 at 7:10
    
DaveBoltman, Thanks for the link. A good read. Perhaps there is hope for me yet :) –  Dave Aug 20 at 20:53

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