General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

Would you speak up?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7770 points ) December 27th, 2008

you’re on a crowded bus or train and there is a group of teenagers using every foul word in the book of, well, “foul words.”

guess they feel “grown up” and stuff. but you’re the real true “grown-up” on the train or bus.

do you say something to them in this public place or just turn a deaf ear and keep about your business? i applaud you if you do.

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20 Answers

KatawaGrey's avatar

If they are using insulting words (such as a racial slur or a sexual slur) then I think I would say something. If I had a small child with me within hearing range, I think I might as well, but other than that, I would see no reason to.

augustlan's avatar

I would (and have) do so if my young children were present. Other than that, no.

JohnRobert's avatar

I agree with Katawa that I would say something if there are children around. But if it’s only adults around, I’m not going to escalate the situation by trying to do in a short bus ride what their parents couldn’t do in 15 years.

cookieman's avatar

I’ve done this before on the T when I worked in downtown Boston.

High School kids using the F-word, Mother-Fer, etc. Old folk and kids on the train. It annoyed me. They were actually apologetic as if they hadn’t realized such words shouldn’t be said in public.

charliecompany34's avatar

@cprevite! great answer! first, i give them that “i know what you are saying” look and do that nod of “you should know better.” if that don’t work, then i open my mouth. i ain’t scurd of no teenager.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know about Charlie, but cprevite is a huge guy with a permanent scowl…that helps. A lot.

Vincentt's avatar

I don’t really care all that much (then again, I’m not really grown-up yet, so…), but even if I did, I don’t think I would – and I’m relatively small (at least in the Netherlands), so I do guess it helps.

That said, I do hear a lot of swearing using “cancer” (the Dutch intonation makes it into a very good swear word), and I would like to give it a try some time to start crying and weeping, then mentioning having lost a relative to cancer just the day before, or something, and see how they’d react.

Then again, I couldn’t do that.

charliecompany34's avatar

@vincent: wow, “cancer?” that’s a swearing word in your parts? wow. interesting.

charliecompany34's avatar

hmmmm, you just started something…

Vincentt's avatar

@charlie – heh, I see xD

electricsky's avatar

I’m a teenager and I really don’t think other people, not just teenagers, should use profanity in public. It’s horribly rude, and when I hear people do it, I always wish someone would tell them off.

arnbev959's avatar

I think I would mind my own business.

joni1977's avatar

I’m with Pete, these days some teens are bold. They are easily offended, aren’t scared of shit and can be frightening little terrorists. They also carry weapons…well they do in my city.

bythebay's avatar

If I’m alone I flash the “I’m a Mom/grown up and you are disgusting me” look; if my kids are with me I will totally call them out and also use the situation to let my kids know that type of behavior is just unacceptable.

Tantigirl's avatar

I’m like some of the others, if there aren’t kids around, and if they aren’t using racial slurs then I’ll not say anything.

I’m proud to say that my 14 year old daughter is the same. Here is a story for you. She was on the school bus one day last year, on the way home, when one of the older kids, around her age, started swearing his head off. She turned around and basically spat nails at him, and informed him to watch his language because there were fourth graders on the bus. He was very surprised, enough that he actually shut up. His friend, laughing fit to burst, said “she told you!!!”. Ahhhh, it makes a mother proud. ;)

cookieman's avatar

@agustlan: It’s only a semi-permanent scowl. ;^)

Foolaholic's avatar

I probably would. I’m trying to be more conscious of my own swearing, and I’m constantly ragging on my friends for language. It’s a peeve of mine.

Superion's avatar

You have to weigh the situation carefully. If you have a child with you, then I think you have much more of a directive to speak up and politely – but firmly – ask them to tone down their language a bit. Generally, I think you will get a better reception – even from teenagers who would be more inclined to be hostile – if they see that you’re doing it on behalf of your child.

Doing it for yourself (or even someone else’s child) is a bit different. While it’s likely your request may shame some of them into more polite behavior, it’s also more likely that some will ignore you (or worse, respond with hostility). You have to judge situations like these on a case-by-case basis.

Carol's avatar

Naughty naughty words exist. Do you imagine your children will never hear them? Better to have them hear when you’re around and can give some context.

Val123's avatar

I call my sons friends on it, but that doesn’t quite count because I AM Mom. Don’t care if they’re in their 20’s. Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with buses and trains.

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