« | »

UK Cops Told To Avoid Saying ‘Evening’

We almost missed this latest triumph of multiculturalism, via the UK’s Telegraph:

Police told to avoid saying ‘evenin’ all’

Police have been urged to avoid using greetings such as "evening" and "afternoon", because the words are "somewhat subjective" and could cause confusion among those from different cultural backgrounds.

By Jasper Copping
24 Oct 2009

… The instructions form part of lengthy guidelines issued by police forces and fire services across the UK on what language their staff should use. Critics have accused the guides of "lacking common sense".

Other words now discouraged include, "businessman", "housewives" and "child", which the organisations argue have negative connotations and could cause offence.

Confusingly, staff are also barred from using the word "homosexual", for which they are instructed to use the term "gay", while they are warned against using the phrase "straight", and told to say "heterosexual".

The instructions have emerged in response to a Freedom of Information request to police forces and fire services about the guidance they give their staff on their use of language. One force urging caution over the use of "evening", is Warwickshire Police.

Under a section entitled "Communication, Some Do’s & Don’ts", in its "Policing Our Communities" handbook, it gives advice to officers on communicating with people from different ethnic groups. It states: "Don’t assume those words for the time of day, such as afternoon or evening have the same meaning."

A spokesman added: "Terms such as ‘afternoon’ and ‘evening’ are somewhat subjective in meaning and can vary according to a person’s culture or nationality. In many cultures the term evening is linked to time of day when people have their main meal of the day.

"In some countries including the UK, the evening meal time is traditionally thought of as being around 5-7pm but this might be different say for a family say from America who might have their main meal earlier and thus for them ‘evening ‘ may be an earlier time.

"The point is there is an element of subjectivity leading to a variation between cultures that we need to be aware of – taking steps as far as possible to ensure our communication is effective in serving the public."

A number of organisations, among them Essex Police and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, now instruct staff to avoid the phrases "child, youth or youngster".

The 52-page guide used by both organisations states that such phrases could have "connotations of inexperience, impetuosity, and unreliability or even dishonesty". It also states that addressing someone as "boy" or "girl" "may cause offence". Instead, officers and firemen are instructed to use the phrase "young people".

The same guide also warns against the phrases "manning the phones", "layman’s terms" and "the tax man", for "making women invisible".

The Metropolitan Police warns its staff about "common errors" to watch out for in their language. It says "homosexual" should be avoided and "gay" used, but that "straight" should not be used and "heterosexual" should. "Homosexual" should only be used in connection with legislation, according to the force.

London Fire Brigade instructs its staff not to use the terms "businessmen" or "housewives", because it says they "reinforce outdated stereotypes". …

Will there always be an England?

We’re not so sure anymore.

(Thanks to RichB for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, October 26th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “UK Cops Told To Avoid Saying ‘Evening’”

  1. ilzito guacamolito says:

    Well, remember that now in the US, according to Janet Napolitano, “terrorism” is “man-caused disaster”. Therefore, “terrorists” would be “man-caused disaster causers”. After this story from the UK, though, shouldn’t these be changed to “person-caused disasters” and “person-caused disaster causers”, because we don’t want to discriminate against any women who strap themselves with explosives and become homicide bombers?

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I would have to look at my commander and say, “You know what? Screw it….YOU deal with it. If you want to fire me because of some stupid social experimentation, and I’m chasing down some puftah who stole someone’s purse ….and you’re worried about me choice o’ words, then I want no part of it. And have a good afternoon, then. “

  3. Gladius et Scutum says:

    “One force urging caution…” (4th para). Uhm, according to the 2007 film “Hot Fuzz”, British police prefer the term “Police Service” to “Police Force”, as it is less seemingly hostile. (Great movie!)

  4. proreason says:

    Reading this, a thunderbolt has struck.

    There is certainly no lack of gumption in British genes. An entire population doesn’t survive the blitz and degenerate into a blob of goo in less than 70 years. For further evidence, look to the British working class, which is known primarily for its rowdiness. And you could easily argue that in the entire history of civilization, with the possible exception of Rome, the British have been the most successful at imposing their will on other people.

    No, it doesn’t have anything to do with British temperment.

    It is all brought about by thier elites, who are the direct descendents of their former aristocracy.

    And they are pissed.

    So pissed that they would destroy the country our of rage at losing their total control of the people.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    I can see everyone wearing a ‘censor’ gag ball for fear of pissing off ones neighbors on the streets.

    This could be a Monty Python script!

  6. DW says:

    “One force urging caution…” (4th para). Uhm, according to the 2007 film “Hot Fuzz”, British police prefer the term “Police Service” to “Police Force”, as it is less seemingly hostile. (Great movie!)

    GeS, I’ll have to take your word as to the merits of the movie, but I’d be willing to lay an awful lot of money on the table that says the average working copper over in Britain thinks that switching the name of the various “Forces” to “Services” was a (bloody) stupid idea.

    Fifteen or so years ago, I was working on a large metro force in Canada when it became a “kindler, gentler” Service*.
    It didn’t make people like us more. Or hate us less. Or, for that matter, fear us less (except for the ones that we wanted to be afraid of us -aka: violent criminals).
    What it did do, was make us spend millions of dollars changing our letterhead, shoulder flashes, hat badges, cruiser markings and signage -at a time when we were struggling to afford to put enough cops on the street to keep each other safe, much less the general public.
    You show me a cop who’ll state publicly that it’s a good thing and I’ll show you a cop who’s on the fast track to become an administrator (IOW, a cop in name only)

    Man, when this pendulum starts swinging back the other way…it’s gonna be bloody.

    * italicising the word “Service” is meant to display venomous, dripping contempt for the whole idiotic, politically correct, money sucking, pandering, hateful, harmful (and probably even fattening) concept.

    • proreason says:

      “Man, when this pendulum starts swinging back the other way…it’s gonna be bloody.”

      ditto for a lot of pendulums

  7. GL0120 says:

    Okay, what’s Politically Correct speech for “You’re sh#$$ing me, right?”

  8. Confucius says:

    There once was a businessman who pretended to be straight.
    He had two youngsters–one boy, one girl–and a housewife who always liked to bake.

    Every afternoon, and sometimes in the evening, he liked to puff on a fag and occasionally a cigarette too.
    He denied he was homosexual–or “gay” in layman’s terms–but women were invisible to him just like a taxman is to a cockatoo.

    So man the phones and call all the youth.
    Tell them this poem if you want to be uncouth.

    Word to the mother.

  9. beautyofreason says:

    Wow, the politicians of the U.K. should read 1984, particularly the bits about Newspeak.

    What sheer stupidity. I’m speechless.

    “”Terms such as ‘afternoon’ and ‘evening’ are somewhat subjective in meaning and can vary according to a person’s culture or nationality.”

    Pass the vomit bucket, please.

    I thought immigrants to Britain were supposed to adopt British culture? If the standards are so low that the government can’t expect immigrants to abide the term “evening,” then I suspect the country is in the toilet awaiting that final flush.

  10. jobeth says:

    How utterly stupid!

    Not long ago there were “rules” out of Belgium for the European Common Market participants that said Bananas had to be round and couldn’t curve beyond a certain degree and the strawberries had to be perfectly shaped. And you could not sell misshapen banana and strawberries! Eventually those asinine “rules” were dropped.

    Please! Someone! Find a way to fire all those European government workers over there that have been hired by the liberal party that now can’t find anything to do except to issue these petty nutty dictums.

    This stuff is like a virus….Soon we here in America will be infected. We have no shortage of libs here. I can see the light bulbs flickering now, over there heads.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »