A faculty guide at the University of Arizona suggested that the use of the words ‘oops’ and ‘ouch’ could help create a safe space. Why? To avoid offending people:
One way to spur positive interactions and create a “safe space” in the classroom, the handbook claims, is to set a ground rule of using “Oops/ouch” in cases where one student offends another.
“If a student feels hurt or offended by another student’s comment, the hurt student can say ‘ouch,” the guide explains. “In acknowledgement, the student who made the hurtful comment says ‘oops.’ If necessary, there can be further dialogue about this exchange.”