Mind your Ps and Qs: Mancunian manners make a swift exit – without holding open the door

Brits are renowned worldwide for their politeness with many lauding the love of the quintessentially British queue and the habit of using ‘sorry’ as though it’s going out of fashion.

However, according to a new report out today, the British public are paying less attention to their manners.

Over a third of Mancunians (34%) admit to speaking on the phone while being served in a shop – a pet hate for any sales assistant.

The study carried out by Saga shows that both adults and children alike could be in need of some remedial manners lessons.

Other pet hates among Britain’s manners police also included not swearing in front of the elderly, speaking over colleagues and not offering seats to those less able to stand.

Despite highlighting what they considered to be some of the worst examples of bad manners, many Mancunians also admitted to being culprits themselves.

Speaking to MM, business consultant Steven Hanson, 43, from Salford, said: “I always try to have good manners. When they do slip, it’s not on purpose. I’ve been known to accidentally talk when I’m eating.”

However, at the top of the table of manner misdemeanors, saying please and thank you continues to be considered one of the most important manners to uphold as Mancunian’s most-wanted manners.

Mum-of-two Anne Rawcliffe, from Hale, said: “Please and thank you are basic manners that we learn from birth. If people can’t even stretch themselves to that then there’s no hope for them. Manners get you a long way in life.”

Children, as well as the over-55s, both regarded  chewing with your mouth open, swearing and not saying please and thank you as some of the biggest manner no-no’s.

And yet, in terms of saying please and thank you, five-to-15-year-olds came out as the least polite with 45-55-year-olds the most polite.

According to the study, it seems that Britain’s children still have a lot to learn from their elders with more than half of the children studied sneezing and coughing without covering their mouth and close to one-in-five pushing in front of others in queues.

Another fifth of children also admitted swearing in front of younger children, adults, the elderly and teachers – while one-in-seven also said they avoid eye contact on public transport so they do not have to give up their seat.

Retired 72-year-old Margaret Smith, from Bury, told MM that finding a seat at her age can sometimes be a struggle.

She said: “People can see that I’m there and not so steady on my feet but sometimes it’s like I’m invisible.

“Of course it’s not everyone! But some people just keep listening to their Walkman as though I’m not there.”

Good manners continue to be a running theme on Twitter with specific accounts addressing manners in the digital age:

The Saga report also revealed that more than a third of adults say they would tell people off for bad manners, with that figure rising to almost 50% of over-55s. This age group is also most likely to judge someone on the standard of their manners.

Bearing this in mind, it comes as no surprise that two thirds of children also confessed to being told off for having bad manners by their parents, a quarter by their grandparents and fifth at school.

Results also show that 80% of adults say parents should do more to teach their kids good manners – with another 60% saying schools should also play a part.

Sammy Moore, 24, from Oldham agreed that good manners start at home. He said: “It’s so cringey when you here parents swearing in front of the kids or at them in the supermarket. They just pick it up off them – it’s horrible.”

Image courtesy of Art of Manliness via Youtube with thanks

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