You’re Barred!

On 27 June, I wrote a post entitledIts My Blog and I’ll Swear If I Like,

In that article I expressed my dislike of swearing on blogs and stated my disinclination to share content which contains expletives.

I did, however state that there exists a place for swearing in literature where this is intrinsic to the characters/plot being portrayed.

In addition my article states that some factual content (rightly) will use expletives (for example a report of a court case will, of necessity document any expletives used by the defendant).

Given my recent post I was interested to read that the owner of the Sameul Smiths Brewery, Humphrey Smith, has banned swearing in all his UK-based establishments.

According to The Guardian several pub managers have been sacked by Smith for allowing swearing in his pubs and customers have been barred for indulging in such behaviour.

The newspaper toured several Sam Smiths establishments and found no pub goers in favour of the prohibition. Typical of the views expressed was that of Craig

“Craig, 38, a cable jointer from Oldham, thought the ban was immature. “To be honest if you banned everyone who was swearing in a pub you wouldn’t have a business,” he said. “Are they going to send you outside to swear?””

Despite my dislike of swearing, I am inclined to agree with Craig that this ban is unworkable.

People in pubs should, of course be aware of their surroundings and should, for example never knowingly swear when children are present as it sets a bad example.

I also think it reasonable for bar staff to tell customers to “tone it down” when swearing is occurring at a high volume.

To my mind a muttered expletive overheard by a member of staff who is in close proximity to the swearer, is significantly different in nature from a man (or woman) swearing at the top of his (or her) voice.

One can not, in short, police swearing out of existence in pubs or other similar establishments.

As always I would welcome the views of my readers.



8 thoughts on “You’re Barred!

    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Mick. That is an interesting idea, that the ban is a “publicity stunt by the company”. You may be right in your surmise. However I think its more likely that it stems from the owner of the chain, Humphrey Smith’s personal dislike of swearing, but, I could be wrong on that.
      There are other behaviours which are, arguably extremely irritating/unpleasant and one cant prohibit them all. For example I was recently in a pub sitting next to a gentleman who insisted on playing some kind of game at a very high volume.

      1. Mick Canning

        I think he might be calculating that there are enough people out there who think the way he does, and it could be enough to make a bit of a difference to his figures. And, or course, as part of the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity, it certainly raises the profile of the chain.
        Yes, there are certainly plenty of other things in pubs that are annoying. Large groups who are very loud are much more annoying than a bit of swearing, for example.

    2. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      I agree with you about large groups, Mick. However it is understandable when a celebration is taking place (for instance a group of people celebrating a friends birthday). None the less people should still show consideration. Enjoy your Sunday. Its rather hot here in Upper Norwood/Crystal Palace!

  1. robbiesinspiration

    As great as it would be, it is not practical to police swearing in places like pubs and restaurants to this extent. I agree that if people are being very loud and inconsiderate you could request they tone it down. It is a great idea, as many people have no consideration and don’t care who is present to their behaviour, elderly, women or children but carry on regardless.


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