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young people using foul language

(20 Posts)
maundymoney Sun 11-Sep-11 01:26:31

I am furious! Three times during the last week, I have been travelling on local bus and had to listen to foul language by young people. I was with my 4-y-o grandson on one occasion and felt that I should cover his ears!

Today was the last straw! On bus to meet my old school chum; group of young men sitting near me - every other word started with "f" but I tried to ignore it! Sitting in park with beloved friend later and seemed to be surrounded by foul language (this on Heritage Weekend!) and then it carried on when we went to McDonald's.

We were not brave enough to comment but, as we baby-boomers are supposed to be the largest social group in the UK, have decided to try and start a campaign to be fearless and demand that this language has to stop!

Btw, they all seemed to be English! We were in a beautiful multi-cultural town and there was no problem with other nationalities! I am English and feel so ashamed. WWYD?

Joan Sun 11-Sep-11 08:54:54

I think we've had this question on another thread, but I do agree with you. The f word between every other word is just laziness. And the c word is just appalling.

We have the same problem here in Australia - not all the time, but sometimes on the commuter train it can be awful. If it is kids in school uniform I ask them to tone it down, and they always comply, because they know their clothes identify them. Most people suffer in silence though.

I taught my lads all about the ancient Anglo-Saxon game of clever insults, whereby two men try to outdo each other in constructive verbal attacks. No foul language needed. (Of course, back then the words we disapprove of were mainstream, I suppose)

They loved doing it, and could be very clever with their insults to each other.

Annobel Sun 11-Sep-11 09:07:07

I like your idea, Joan. In Old Scots the exchange of inventive insults was known as 'flyting'. William Dunbar's poem, 'The Flying of Dunbar and Kennedie' is funny and contains a number of obscenities which I won't reproduce here.wink

Annobel Sun 11-Sep-11 09:16:07

PS Sorry, Maundy, I didn't meant hijack your thread. I take this very seriously because I don't want my GC to pick up on the casual obscenities common in the mouths of young people, so impoverished is their vocabulary. My GD2, aged almost 9, who does a great deal of reading, is developing her own range of insults which have already got her in trouble for using them on her rather sensitive younger brother!

JessM Sun 11-Sep-11 09:45:38

Maundy I suspect the horse has bolted on this one and did so decades ago. Lots of baby boomers swear - and troopers always did.
But if it offends you then... what does "a campaign" look like - well I guess it looks like a lot of individual actions.
You could try saying nicely, on your bus, " Hey guys, would you mind toning down the language a bit in front of us grannies and little ones" . It might work or it might not. You might get told to f off but i doubt it. If they do it is just showing off in front of their friends.
It is important not to confront kids in the public area in a "telling off" or lecturing way as this will inevitably put their backs up. The one reasonable adult to another mode of communication is the most likely to be successful.

Alternatively if you know what school the kids go to, write a letter to the Head. They are not daft - they know which kids catch which buses and they certainly don't want their students behaving like this when they can be identified with the school.

Kids can moderate their language and behaviour very well - in our recent school inspection (I'm a governor) the chief inspector commented that when our kids walked out of school and across to the shops on the estate, he could see and hear their behaviour deteriorating. (this was a compliment to us of course smile)

harrigran Sun 11-Sep-11 10:55:03

Not just children with foul language. In my street someone rang the doorbell and stood swearing at my husband and I because we were parked too close to their car. I told him he could not use language like that as it was a public order offence and I would call the police. His reaction was you can f.....g well do that, do I give a f.... ?

supernana Sun 11-Sep-11 14:44:11

harrigran It is enough to make me weep when I am within earshot of FOUL language. As my husband and I made our way back to our London hotel recently, we turned a corner to see a group of four "yobs" [the worse for drink] cursing loudly as they rocked a near-new Lambretta scooter until it finally fell to the road and lay in a scratched heap. When they saw us, they swore even louder and then made a dash for it. We were so distressed, but being elderly, out-numbered [and sober] we felt unable to intervene. angry

Joan Mon 12-Sep-11 06:59:21

I just read this about Gary Numan and foul language:

^When pop star Gary Numan moved to a house deep in the Sussex countryside six years ago, he thought he had found the perfect place to escape from life in a big city.
The electronic music pioneer, best known for his massive 1979 hit Cars, was sure there was nowhere safer than the picturesque villages in the district of Wealden for him and his wife Gemma to raise their young daughters – Raven, now seven, Persia, five, and Echo, four.
.But a troubling incident has now prompted Numan to make plans to leave Britain altogether and move to the United States.

Read more:

Gemma and the girls were in the local High Street and encountered a gang of boys aged between 12 and 14,' says the 53-year-old.
'*The boys surrounded them and shouted obscenities about what they wanted to do to Gemma. They didn't care that she was with the children, who were scared and upset.*
'I was furious when I heard about it. We're in the middle of the countryside so you'd think it would be the most peaceful place on Earth, but even in the quietest places, you can't avoid thugs.'^

I can't help feeling that something has to be done to reverse this growing culture of foul language and appalling behaviour. When we were youngsters any adult in the vicinity had a go at you when you behaved badly. For many reasons this cannot/does not happen nowadays, because the adult in question would be likely to be attacked viciously.

I just think this is sad.

dorsetpennt Mon 12-Sep-11 17:07:14

I'd feel like swearing if I'd been given such stupid first names Raven,Persia and Echo!!! Puhleese!! I've had this rant about silly names on another of our forums so wont go on. I also hate foul language. With the school kids it is just showing off and hopefully they will grow out of it. However, plenty wont I'm afraid we are stuck with it in some cases. I was going to work on a bus when three young mums came on the bus with a variety of toddlers. We were subjected to a litany of swearing from these beauties but the limit was one of the two year olds telling another to He was told off for swearing.
I was with my 2yr old GD when a couple of guys behind were swearing and I asked if they wouldn't because of her and they apologised immediately.

maxgran Tue 13-Sep-11 12:36:00

I was at a bus stop when 3 young boys of about 10 or 11 yrs came cycling down the road opposite. The one in front was shouting back at the other two and using foul language. When he turned and saw me across the road I shouted at him 'What sort of language is that to be using in the street ?' I would not normally bother but I thought why on earth should they do these things with no challenge ?

At first, he went red and said 'sorry !' in a defiant sort of tone,.. but once they were cycling away he thought it was clever to shout back 'Whats it got to do with you?... I can do what I want!...'

I think had they been within reach I would have been tempted to knock him off his bike ! ( not really ;-)

supernana Tue 13-Sep-11 17:11:23

maxgran...and I would have helped you! [not really] wink Same thing happened to me in Cornwall. I was cleaning the shop window and a group of schoolchildren pushed past me and started swearing very loudly. I asked them the same question. Blank, huffy looks...and then a lad came right up to me and said, "what's it to you, you silly frizzy haired cow" - I objected to being likened to a frizzy haired cow and felt duty bound to empty the bucket of dirty water over his head, but of course, I didn't...

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 17:21:43

I know it is horrible for children (and anyone) to hear this language in the streets, but I think (hope) that as long as they do not hear it at home, and their parents make sure they realise they mustn't do it themselves, then they will be ok.

I don't think its wise for older people (or perhaps anybody) trying to take youths on in the street.

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 17:22:20

to try. not trying to. sorry.

Elegran Tue 13-Sep-11 17:39:04

If every person who heard the foul language were to say so, loud and clear, and everyone who was passing joined in so that the person polluting the atmosphere was outnumbered and outvoted, then maybe it would become a no-no. As it is, no -one feels they can take on these swaggering louts single-handed.

It is true that "for evil to triumph, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing"

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 17:41:42

Yes, but not good little old ladies. Not for swearing.

If someone weaker is being abused physically, or being threatened, then I hope I would try.

crimson Tue 13-Sep-11 17:47:57

There's something terribly intimidating about groups of teenagers, especially boys. I agree it's not a good idea to confront them; they could be on drugs or carrying knives [or both]. Sad that it should be that way, though.

Elegran Tue 13-Sep-11 18:00:17

A generation or two ago, no grown man would ignore a group of foul-mouthed teenagers in the hearing of ladies, not even - particularly a working-class labouring man.

grandmaagain Tue 13-Sep-11 19:53:51

a few years ago men would not swear in front of women they had more respect! I feel it is a lack of self respect that has caused this acceptance of foul language, we can only lead by example, my adult DDs and SILs know not to swear in front of me and so do all their friends when we meet (what they do in private I don"t know) Schools should take more of a stand on this and have a zero tolerance on school premises and on school buses, However the real examples should come from the home and how we do that to this generation I just don"t know

Hunt Tue 13-Sep-11 20:56:29

Contacting the school is not really any help as the last time I did that (cocerning rubbish left at lunchtime littering a green and pleasant place) I was told in no uncertain terms that what happened out side school was not their concern!

maxgran Wed 14-Sep-11 09:23:41

Quite a few years ago I was going into the newsagents and there were some teenagers outside - about 13 or 14 yrs old I should think. One of them asked me to get them some cigarettes and I said ( quite nicely) that I couldn't do that - and they were too young and thats why they are not served them ! The foul mouthed abuse I got back was awful.