The truth is that we all tacitly accept limitations on certain forms of verbal expression for the sake of social cohesion, and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. Most of us, for instance, are happy to modify our language in the workplace, or when out in public, because we understand that there are broadly accepted standards for polite discourse that differ from private conversation. Why should a school be any different?
Although I am still young myself, there are a number of phrases used by my peers which really grate on me. 'Totes', 'reem' (basically anything from The Only Way is Essex) and student motto 'YOLO' are probably my top three. But there's one phrase that really is like a red rag to a bull. "That's SO gay".
I doubt very much that Banks is a homophobe. She has worked with many gay artists and is bisexual herself. But the fact that sales of her music have risen sharply since her tweet to Perez Hilton probably suggests that she won't be admonishing the homophobic members of her fan base any time soon... We all know that freedom of speech is fundamental to any democratic society. If you want to say the word "faggot" you are free to do so, but you should also accept the consequences.
Chris Kerr possesses an air of watchfulness, borne perhaps from looking out into Berwick Street from the cutting board which sits at the front of his Soho shop. The spectacles he wears are of heavy acetate, the navy suit fitted with little give, the whole look rounded off by black brogues and a metal watch.
Next month, Radio 1 will make the biggest change to its schedule since announcing its plan to increase focus on younger listeners. Nick Grimshaw will take over the Radio 1 breakfast show from Chris Moyles in a move that has reignited a long-standing debate; should BBC radio stations target audiences by age? Without doubt, we live in a time when age seems less defining than in previous generations. In a recent interview on Radio 4's Front Row, 64-year-old Vincent Damon Furnier (aka rocker Alice Cooper) declared defiantly "now, 60s, you're in your 40s". And with many hip-hop fans heading towards 50 and thousands of young people attending the Proms, is it right that age remains a factor in targeting and judging BBC services?
While a lot of people seemed shocked to hear the news last week that Chris Moyles was stepping down from his breakfast show on BBC Radio 1 to join the arena tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, I had anticipated that this would be the case from the moment he was announced in the cast.