Every year, thousands of German drivers learn the hard way that it’s just not OK to call someone a “dumb pig.” The insult risks a fine of between 500 and 2,000 euros.
Call someone an “alte sau” or “old sow” – the highest level of verbal abuse – and the fine is even stiffer: 2,500 euros. On the other end of the scale are tamer insults like “silly goose” or “stupid cow.” German authorities consider these to be less serious than pig-based affronts, and fines only cost around 300 euros.
Those who research cursing and swearing, called maledictologists, tend to see outbursts of this type as a verbal way of letting off steam and reducing stress. British researchers at Keele University conducted experiments in which test subjects were asked to immerse their hands in ice water and insult the researchers all they wanted while so doing.
"Hurling insults caused the release of endorphins that dulled the pain,” said project head Richard Stephens. “Swearing can be good not only for the soul but for the body as well.” In other words, yelling "stupid cow” is the equivalent of taking a verbal painkiller.
In Germany, however, getting caught doing this is only going to land you in hot water. And verbal insults are not the only ones German laws take umbrage with – insulting gestures prompts fines as well. Caught suggesting that someone is crazy by putting a finger to your head will cost a sliding percentage of monthly income. If this works out to 1,500 euros net per month, for example, then das Zeigen des Vogels can cost anywhere between 1000 and 1500 euros.
Giving somebody the Stinkefinger -- as in raising the middle finger -- is considered a higher-grade insult than the Vogel; the fine for that is also based on income, and can really break the bank
Q: Can you be ticketed, fined or punished for using profanity or obscenity towards a law enforcement officer after they have finished ticketing you and say you are “free to go?”
For example, saying “f*** off” to a cop as they walk away after giving you a ticket?
A: The same answer applies to the question of whether you can give an officer the finger.
“You won’t make any friends, but you won’t get arrested,” King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said last year.
However, people will be arrested if their actions hinder or delays an officer or deputy from doing their job, he said. Obstructing an officer is a gross misdemeanor. Here’s the definition from the Revised Code of Washington.
America has a lot of problems, but at least we are not as FUCKED as the Europeans are!
The Home Office, which funded the creation of the £1.25m facility seven years ago, believes it to be a "best-practice example" on which the future of the UK's public surveillance system should be modelled.
So famed has central London's surveillance network become that figures released yesterday revealed that more than 6,000 officials from 30 countries have come to learn lessons from the centre.
They include police with the job of keeping order in the most dangerous cities on earth, from São Paulo in Brazil to Baltimore in the United States, as well as law enforcement officials from countries with a notorious disregard for the rights of citizens, such as China.
A delegation of foreign visitors turns up at Westminster's subterranean CCTV control room on a monthly basis. The FBI has paid a visit, as have - more recently - police forces from South Africa, Japan and Mexico.
The UK, whose police forces pioneered experiments with the technology in the 1960s, leads the world in surveillance of its people.
Exactly how many CCTV cameras there are in the UK is not known, although one study four years ago estimated 4.8m cameras had been installed.
What is rarely disputed is that the UK has more cameras per citizen than anywhere else.
Starbucks started in Seattle, didn't it? Must be the armpit of Hell .
No surprises there, especially not with the feeble attempt to portray yourself as a macho man based on the coffee you use.
Participants were then instructed to submerge their unclenched hand in a container of 41-degree water, and keep it there — while repeatedly cursing — for as long as they could. Before and after plunging their hands into the chilly water, their heart rate was recorded. And after they could no longer stand the cold temperature, they were asked to rate the amount of pain they were in, too.
What’s surprising is that the researchers had thought that swearing would make the cold water feel much colder, lowering the participants’ tolerance for pain and heightening their perception of it. “In fact, the opposite occurred — people withstood a moderately to strongly painful stimulus for significantly longer if they repeated a swear word rather than a nonswear word,” write the team, led by Keele University psychologist Richard Stephens, in the journal Neuroreport.