Monday, 26 May 2008

Modern manners

Today I attempted to tidy my office (at Ian's insistence, as in order to use the keyboard it was necessary to remove a pile of papers and junk and there was no longer anywhere to put them!). I rediscovered a book I bought in a second hand book shop some years ago called " Lady Behave-a guide to modern manners". The book was published in 1956 and provides a great insight into the changing attitudes of the time. I propose to occasionally quote a few parts here for posterity's sake! (The book was by Anne Edwards and Drusilla Beyfus, who was a journalist with the Daily Express and Telegraph). Here is their advice on swearing:

Swearing. Stronger grow the words that fall from the prettiest lips. And the people who mind most are men. If a woman wants to preserve an air of delicacy she must forgo the use of the earthiest expletive she knows.
Since there is a large slice of the population which is genuinely shocked by bad language, the most considerate people trim their language to the company.
People who suppose that public opinion allows the modern girl to say just what she likes when she likes should remember that the furore created by Bernard Shaw's 'Not bloody likely' in Pygmalion was only equalled by the furore created when Sir Gerald Kelly said 'Bloody good' on TV over 40 years later.

My, how times have changed! On Saturday Ian and were woken up at 5 a.m. by his neighbour Chaverley having an argument with a female guest. It went something like this
" ... Bang, crash, bang..F*ck off..No you f*ck off..No you f*ck off you f*ucking c*nt..Bang, thump, bang thump.... go home you f*cking slag.."

and after at least 45 minutes of this the guest left in taxi wearing a boxing glove!

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