Scots not offended when called ‘Jocks,’ says Ofcom

Calling a Scottish person a ‘Jock’ is funny and Scots are not offended by it, according to research released by Ofcom.

The term was one of a number of potentially derogatory, discriminatory, sexual and offensive words assessed by the communications regulator.

Jock was deemed “mild language,” with its use “generally of little concern.”

“Mild language,” was the term used in the study to describe the least offensive words, on a scale that ran through “medium,” and “strong,” to “strongest.”

Earlier this year Katie Hopkins was investigated by Police Scotland after she sparked outrage when she described Scots as “little sweaty jocks,” on Twitter.

Despite the controversy, the Police ultimately took no action.

kthopkins tweet

No slang words to describe Irish or English people were apparently considered by the study, but calling a welsh person a “Taff” was seen as “medium language” and “potentially unacceptable.”

Overall, the body concludes that people in the UK are becoming “less tolerant than ever before of discriminatory or racist language,” but emphasised that context was key.

An Ofcom statement said: “The research found that viewers and listeners take into account context, such as the tone, delivery and time of broadcast, when assessing whether offensive language is acceptable. People says they are more likely to tolerate some swearing if it reflects what they would expect to see in ‘real world’ situations.

“Clear racist and discriminatory language was the most unacceptable overall. Such words were viewed as derogatory, discriminatory and insulting. Many were concerned about them being used at any time, unless they were particularly justified by the context. Many said that discriminatory and racist words were harder hitting, carrying more emotional impact than ‘general’ swear words.

“Sexual terms were seen in a similar way to the stronger general swear words. They were viewed as distasteful and often unnecessary, but people said they found them more acceptable if used after the watershed, when they would be more prepared.

The Ofcom research involved 248 participants in total from around the UK.  Ofcom has conducted similar research every five years. The findings are used by the regulator to: “…help inform our decisions during our investigations of TV and radio programmes that have included potentially offensive language.”

You can find the full research on the Ofcom website – but beware, it’s not for the easily offended.

Pic credit: Aidan 

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