Brazilian way of saying "no littering"

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

1. I know that the notice "No littering. Please use a trash can" is idiomatic/common English.

2. In Brazil, there is a slight different way of saying that which is more or less like this:

"Good-mannered people don't litter.''

or

"Good-mannered people don't drop litter.''


3. My question:

Is the use of "good-mannered" offensive or strange/unidiomatic to the ears of a native speaker of English? Should I stick to the original "No littering. Please use a trash can''?


Thank you in advance!
 
Last edited:
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Good-mannered" is not idiomatic for me. You could say something like:
    Nice people don't litter.
    However, for a short notice, we usually use simple statements or direct orders rather that trying to shame people or appeal to their better nature (assuming that they have one ;)).
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Xavier. Some context would help - are you writing for an AE audience? Your first example "No littering. Please use a trash can" is not idiomatic/common British English.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    We usually say "please use a litter bin" or "please use the bin provided". Most (all?) Brits on holiday in AE-speaking lands would understand trash can - we just don't say it.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If I were writing the "Brazilian approach" to this I would write: "Good citizens use the trash receptacles".

    Locally we have "Carry in/Carry out" parks. The sign says, "This is a carry in/carry out facility; there are no trash containers in the park".

    In Roslyn, NY they addressed the issue by raising the fine for littering and removing all the trash containers from town.

    I like the Brazilian approach. It uses guilt as a motivation for appropriate behavior instead of fear of prosecution.
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    It would be idiomatic English to say: '"Well-mannered people don't drop litter.'' but it is not the same as 'please use the bin provided'. The latter is a clear instruction, the former is more of a general proclamation. We have adverts here in Scotland saying 'have some pride, keep our streets clean' but again, that is not an instruction specifically to put litter in bins, it's a general government propaganda maxim.

    So I would say that unless you are being employed to lower the rate of littering for a local authority, or are part of some kind of communal society against littering, just write 'Please put litter in the bin/trash can'.
     
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