ronglimeng
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Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:16 pm

So there I was last night watching one of Gordon Ramsey's kitchen programs when it occurred to me that not just Gordon but everyone from to the owner down to the dishwasher made uninhibited use of the "F-word" during their work. It seems to have completely lost its shock value into a fairly high social stratum in the UK?

I found the same thing last week watching "East is East" on TV. Admittedly it is fiction, set in 1971, but every one from Mom and Dad down to the youngest, used "the word" in family conversation.

I work in a Canadian engineering office and the tone is fairly professional, except for one English transplant engineer. It is obvious from his accent that he didn't go to Oxford or Cambridge but he is a university graduate. His free use of the "F-word" in normal office communication and mixed company has raised a few eyebrows and probably earned him at least one trip to the penalty box.

I use the word myself, mostly with my brother and one sister, occasionally with some male friends, but never ever with my parents, with my boss or with others I'm trying to create "image" with.

I'm curious what members from the UK think of my observation.
 
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nighthawk
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:29 pm

I dont know what your f#@!&$g talking about, we never use that f#@!&$g word over here.

Signed 90% of the UK
 
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ThrottleHold
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:33 pm

It's terrible....a f@cking disgrace if you ask me.
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:39 pm

I swear too much, especially at work.

I think it's just a normal word nowadays to express emphasis or annoyance although would say that swearing is not very polite.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:47 pm



Quoting Ronglimeng (Thread starter):
It is obvious from his accent that he didn't go to Oxford or Cambridge but he is a university graduate.

You don't have to have a posh accent to go to Oxford or Cambridge.
 
B747forever
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:55 pm

I noted that too here in the USA. It is used way too much.
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OA260
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:13 pm



Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 3):
I swear too much, especially at work.

Glad Im not the only one. I try to not curse as much but sometimes its hard . Here in Ireland its used 24/7. It has lost its shock appeal.

Quoting Ronglimeng (Thread starter):
It is obvious from his accent that he didn't go to Oxford or Cambridge but he is a university graduate.

Means nothing these days. ''posh'' people swear also. Just because you swear with a posh accent doesnt mean its less worse.
 
Daleaholic
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:26 pm



Quoting Ronglimeng (Thread starter):

I think your colleague's eyebrows would fall off if they heard the language used at the football games I go to!  Silly
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David L
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:33 pm

I think it's just become used more widely used as the years have gone by and it's now allowed on certain TV programmes. Most people still moderate their language to suit the company they're in but some just have no breeding. I have no idea how widely it was used throughout society 50 years ago.

Perhaps every generation has gone through this but I get the impression that the rules have changed much more quickly during my lifetime. When I was 8 years old I had to go to bed at about 7:00 PM and so did most of the children I knew of the same age. Now you see them out in the streets much later. At the same age I knew nothing about sex, drink or drugs and 14 year old girls didn't go around in short skirts and make-up. Parents didn't buy £100 trainers for their children just because "everyone else has them" Now they're all at it, apparently.

Quoting Ronglimeng (Thread starter):
So there I was last night watching one of Gordon Ramsey's kitchen programs

Purely a guess but it might actually be encouraged on those shows.  Smile
 
egmcman
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:59 pm



Quoting Ronglimeng (Thread starter):
So there I was last night watching one of Gordon Ramsey's kitchen programs when it occurred to me that not just Gordon but everyone from to the owner down to the dishwasher made uninhibited use of the "F-word" during their work. It seems to have completely lost its shock value into a fairly high social stratum in the UK?

It's true but I believe the producers encourage it to for publicity rather than merits of Gordon's cooking.

I have heard of guy in his fifties who essentially uses the word in every other sentence he speaks. The trouble is the likes of him have encouraged a generation of kids to copy him and it has become common.
 
GDB
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:05 pm

It's used mainly in two sorts of ways, constantly, in every sentence a lot of the time, by the uneducated, uncouth, unsophisticated.

But also less often (as in not every other word), by those that are the opposite of the first group.
That symbol of English educated urbanity, actor, writer, presenter Stephen Fry, loves the English swear words and points out that they are a part of our language as anything else, but are best used more sparingly and in consequence to much greater effect.

You'll start to hear sexual swearwords in TV here after 21.30, sometimes from 21.00 but less frequently so.

The British have always been a very potty mouthed bunch, it's nothing new, aside from maybe less restraint in public and certainly is more realistically depicted in film, on TV, in books.

I'm a firm believer in the saying things change but they stay the same , the older generation always say 'things were better', we behaved better', you can find newspaper headlines from a 100 years ago airing the same concerns in many respects as tabloids do today.
Especially about the 'youth'.
But we all sometimes think this way, I do, sometimes I then think on and consider the above. Or I try to.

A civil servant in his mid 30's, back in 1945, recorded in his diary his activities on the date that is known in history as the day after Hiroshima was atom bombed - which he never mentions. From 'Austerity Britain, 1945-51' by David Kynaston.
(What follows in italics is offensive, but can our professional complainers here accept I'm illustrating a point, the expletive below of course would have been written in full.

I tried in vain to buy cigarettes. The public lavatory had some fixtures missing and some scribblings on the door. 'I know a little girl of 11 who can take a man's prick. I broke her down in the woods and did she enjoy it.' 'I f**k my sister - she's 14' were specimens. A drawing showed a nude woman in bed with the caption 'I'm ready Dean'.

The diarist returned two days later to, as he put it, ... masturbate over the drawings...but there was no lock on the door.

So here we have examples of offensive language, very offensive sexual thoughts, vandalism, all being recorded by a 'respectable' man who wanted to commit an act of gross indecency. In a time when we are told, people were more decent, more restrained etc.

The 'good old days?'
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:13 am



Quoting Ronglimeng (Thread starter):
So there I was last night watching one of Gordon Ramsey's kitchen programs when it occurred to me that not just Gordon but everyone from to the owner down to the dishwasher made uninhibited use of the "F-word" during their work

I am pretty sure that is normal in a restaurant/hotel kitchen anywhere in the English-speaking world
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:28 am



Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 12):
I am pretty sure that is normal in a restaurant/hotel kitchen anywhere in the English-speaking world

I drop the "F bomb" at least a dozen times during my daily commute to and from work due to the utter stupidity of certain Los Angeles drivers....
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Danfearn77
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:33 am

The Irish i have to say are by far the worst. Over there it is used as part of every sentance. My grandma is 83 and Irish and some of the words that come out of her mouth!!! The accent kinda makes up for it though!

I swear way to much too i have to admit. Its not accepted socially at every level here in the UK but the lower and working classes use it a lot. Younger kids also.
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IH8BY
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:57 am



Quoting Danfearn77 (Reply 14):
Its not accepted socially at every level here in the UK but the lower and working classes use it a lot

I think it's more of a setting thing than a class thing really. It might be that "upper class" people are apparently more frequently in settings where such language isn't appropriate, but I'm not sure - certainly most people adapt their style of speaking to fit the situation they're in. When working in a shop, I noticed how clearly the register of language changed from shop floor to stock room; I rarely swear, but I was quite a bit more casual in my language the moment I was out of sight and earshot.
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David L
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:40 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 10):

Fair enough. Maybe I just led a sheltered life as a child.  Smile
 
GDB
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RE: Widespread Use Of The "F-Word" In The UK?

Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:06 pm



Quoting David L (Reply 15):
Fair enough. Maybe I just led a sheltered life as a child.

Me too, my parents were not known for swearing and of course a realistic depiction of language was rare in adult dramas.

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