News Roundup 376

According to a study carried out by Privilege Motor Insurance, 7 in 10 Brits believe we are not as polite as we were 10 years ago, with millenials saying “good manners” are outdated.

The concept of what is or isn’t polite has changed a lot, and these common courtesies are among those considered outdated:

  • Pulling someone’s chair out for them.
  • The concept of ladies first.
  • Offering to take someone’s coat.
  • Keeping your elbows off the table.
  • Saying bless you after sneezing.
  • Putting the knife and fork together after a meal.
  • Not shortening someone’s name.
  • Not swearing in front of strangers/children.
  • Putting your hand over your mouth when yawning.
  • Giving up a seat for the elderly or mums to be.

Even holding doors open for people is under threat, with one in five adults saying they no longer holds doors open for passers by, and what is worse, 13% don’t even bother to say please or thank you. What happened to mind your Ps and Qs?

However, other ideas of what people consider to be rude, have come to the fore.

For example:

  • Littering.
  • Playing music too loudly.
  • Talking loudly on public transport.
  • Using the phone during a meal.
  • Reading someone else’s phone messages.
  • Taking up too much room on public transport.
  • Talking to someone whilst constantly looking at your phone.
  • Keeping your earphones on whilst talking.
  • Not making tea for others.
  • Looking at photos without asking.

According to the same study, Cardiff was the most polite city, and Nottingham was judged to be the rudest.

According to the WHO 142,000 people died from measles last year, with nearly 10 million cases globally. The number of cases reported in the UK this year is three times higher than at same stage in 2018. Anti-vaccine messages are being blamed, especially misinformation spread through social media. Sadly most of the deaths are small children, with thousands more suffering permanent harm including pneumonia and brain damage. 

On a lighter note, The Sun reports that a top chef has come up with what is probably the most pretentious menu ever. According to the report, Tom Aikens has created a cryptic menu where you have to guess the dishes from the description.

The tasting menu, which costs a whopping £145, includes dishes such as, “Forever Picking”, “Wait and see”, “Cows and cornflakes”, and “We all have our beech tree moment”.

I know I would have a “moment”, when presented with the bill.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, research by the Social Market Foundation has found that in the UK, high property prices, student debt and broken relationships mean British children return home several times before finally making a go of it on their own.

One in four adults, aged between 20 and 30 have returned to the nest twice or more since leaving home, and one in eight had returned home more than three times. They are called boomerang kids.

The foundation says the results indicate that most families operate an ‘open return ticket’ for their offspring, leading to a situation where many parents are supporting their children for most of their lives.

And finally, some sad news from The Guardian: The Apostrophe Protection Society (founded in 2001 by journalist John Richards) is shutting down, citing that laziness has won the day. He wrote on the website “Fewer organisations and individuals are now caring about the correct use of the apostrophe in the English language.”

I guess you could say it has come to a full stop.


  • The Guardian
  • WHO
  • The Sun
  • Privilege Motor Insurance

I am a director of the Learn English Network. A non-profit organisation registered in the UK dedicated to helping people learning English and people who teach English online.

Learn English 2020