Metro letters October 19, 2022: Readers defend the F-word –

Metro readers think those who disapprove of swearing in the workplace need a wake-up call…
■ I would like to know what idyllic world Ann Paterson from Didcot lives in, when she says she never heard the F-word in her 15 years of working in offices (MetroTalk, Mon).
Swearing is very common in society and most workplaces. Of course professionalism takes over in front of customers or clients.
However, behind the scenes in break rooms, storage rooms and kitchens etc, swearing is very common among men and women.
People need to stop demonising the use of swear words because there’s nothing wrong with them. They’re an utterance of frustration or anger at a situation. We don’t all live in a sterile utopia where the mere use of a single F-word shocks everyone.
Matt, Sheffield
■ I spent far too much time in the Army and the F-word was all over 
the place. It’s an expression of frustration, shock, horror, amazement, impatience or support. It’s used to lighten the mood, emphasise importance or a lack of understanding – or even to serve as a friendly ‘hello’.
It’s a truly useful and ‘heads-up’ word for any situation during a time of peace, civil disturbance or war.
Then you come out of the Army and have to retrain yourself in politeness, discarding the F-word like an embarrassing friend. But if I meet ex-squaddies, it’s back as though it had never been away!
Dave D, Glasgow
■ I’m a woman and I use the F-word frequently in the right context, as do my kids, grandkids and colleagues. All health professionals, by the way.
Andrea, Sheffield
■ Ann Paterson needs to get in the real world. Those words do get used in various situations. Cover your ears if you object.
Debbie Dunford, Lytham
■ I will walk out of modern plays where there is excessive use of foul language. I will turn off a film on TV with too much swearing – it doesn’t enhance the narrative at all.
Mike Morfey, Streatham Vale
■ It’s not a word I use and I’ve never heard it in the office. We try to maintain a professional and polite working environment.
The word is overused as a way of showing off or being trendy.
It’s worse when you’re stuck on the train or bus, having to listen to someone effing and blinding. Women are increasingly using it as part of the misguided ‘anything men can do, women can do better’ culture.
Agatha, Surrey
■ The F-word is everywhere – I hate it. When the literal meaning of the word is understood, it makes no sense whatsoever. Eurgh!
Pauline Miles, Faversham
■ Here we go again: readers bash the bad old landlords by going on about how we let micro-studio flats full of cockroaches at rents that stop people getting a mortgage (MetroTalk, Mon). What a load of whingers and cobblers.
I rent out two flats and most of my tenants go on to buy their own properties. I’ve never had any complaints and it’s the same story with most of the landlords I know.
Most private landlords have stopped buying property – the new ones will be the banks, insurance companies and large foreign companies that are building the slums of tomorrow, ‘build to rent’ tower blocks. Good luck with those landlords!
Clive, Woking
■ I know there are greedy landlords who exploit tenants but please don’t tar us with the same brush.
Many tried to help their tenants during the pandemic by not raising rents or by allowing them to pay less until they were able to pay as usual – at a cost to themselves.
I rent out a property that is well maintained through a rent-guarantee scheme, to a family who were on the council waiting list. This amount is fixed and below the market rent.
Please don’t forget there are unscrupulous tenants too.
S Costa, North London
■ Most owners of second homes rent out for additional income to subsidise their income because their pension doesn’t give them enough to live on, and using their capital would soon see it spent. Dawn, Medway
■ Sorry, Norman, but you don’t know what you’re talking about when you say high earners don’t contribute more in tax than lower earners (MetroTalk, Tue). It’s obvious that they pay more tax. Most bankers do a stressful job that earns them a bonus. The more bonus they receive – shock – the more money in the tax coffers.
Elizabeth, Essex
■ Why do people such as Norman assume all high earners are tax evaders? All the high earners I know are in PAYE roles and pay all the tax they are obliged to.
Sam, Essex
■ Lisa Kemsley asks why people are upset about Animal Rebellion spilling milk over supermarket floors (MetroTalk, Tue). Because it’s not them that have to clean it up but a cleaner who is on minimum wage.
James, London
■ Those who exercise their rights to protest on streets by parliament or up bridges (Metro, Tue) must remember they owe a responsibility to society and other individuals.
Preventing others from living their lives, running business or traffic flowing freely is blackmail.
J Longstaff, Buxted
■ Using the picture of a turtle dove (MetroTalk, Mon) was a nice touch to illustrate the loss of wildlife. This beautiful bird is now virtually absent from the UK because of ‘mass shooting by man’. This takes place on migration north from Africa, as it flies across the southern Mediterranean countries of Cyprus, Spain, Italy and France.
The unfortunate fact is that the world population has risen fourfold in the past 100 years and habitat destruction, plus pollution, grow proportionately to feed consumption of now eight billion people. The elephant in the room is population growth, but it’s hardly discussed.
Ken Davies, Birder From The Wirral
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