Is a Pub Without Swearing Still a Pub?
A chain of bars is banning foul language.
Drinking and swearing go hand in hand – in part because alcohol lowers your inhibitions and in part because alcohol can cause you to do dumb stuff that’s worth cursing over. But for years now, pub culture in the UK has been changing as more and more establishments look to increase revenue (and stave off closure) by doing things like offering food and becoming more family-friendly. Recently, one large chain of pubs has even tried the formerly unthinkable: It banned cursing.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this past April, Samuel Smith’s Brewery did something that pub historians say no chain has done before: The brewer quietly banned cursing at the over 200 pubs it owns across the UK. Though Samuel Smith’s never officially announced the policy and refused to even comment on it for the WSJ’s story, local pub operators confirmed that they received a memo to that effect. Drinkers looking for proof of the policy can spot new signs hanging in at least some Samuel Smith’s pubs stating: “We wish to inform all of our customers that we have introduced a zero-tolerance policy against swearing in all of our pubs.”
Setting aside what many regulars think of the idea (they don’t bloody like it!) the policy can even be confusing for people running the pubs since the memo didn’t bother to list which words were off limits. “Where do you draw the line?” said one pub operator. “Is ‘bloody’ a swear word? It’s quite confusing.” As a result, it appears as if warnings are more common than outright ejections, though one manager said he did resort to kicking out a group of 17 guys for not adhering to the policy. “I’m lucky they didn’t beat me up,” he was quoted as saying.
However, being more family-friendly and curbing cursing don’t have to be mutually exclusive. For instance, many British pubs that now admit children have certain areas that are for kids and other areas for adults only. Why not just introduce an “F’ing Swearing Section” where crudeness can fly freely? We're guessing sitting in those sections could be entertaining as ****!