Does "shaky foundation" collocate with "manners"?

Huda

Senior Member
arabic-Egypt
Please help me

I want to say that there are certain people who have nobody to teach them good manners so they commit sins and do very bad things.Can I say that their manners were built on a shaky foundation?

thanks for your help
 
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  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Something that is built on shaky foundations is likely to collapse.

    Are you saying that their manners are likely to collapse, in the sense that their current attitude to good manners may suddenly crumble, to be replaced by good manners?
     
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    Huda

    Senior Member
    arabic-Egypt
    Something that is built on shaky foundations is likely to collapse.

    Are you saying that their manners likely to collapse, in the sense that their current attitude to good manners may suddenly crumble, to be replaced by good manners?
    I want to say that their manners crumbled form the very beginning because their manners were unsteady or shaky

    Thanks for your help
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello Huda :)

    There's a major vocabulary problem here.
    'Manners' means behaving politely in society and has nothing to do with morals. Some of the most vicious criminals are very charming and have excellent manners.
    So we need to find other expressions for what these people are lacking. The shaky foundation expression can certainly be used.

    :)
    Hermione
     

    Huda

    Senior Member
    arabic-Egypt
    Hello Huda :)

    There's a major vocabulary problem here.
    'Manners' means behaving politely in society and has nothing to do with morals. Some of the most vicious criminals are very charming and have excellent manners.
    So we need to find other expressions for what these people are lacking. The shaky foundation expression can certainly be used.

    :)
    Hermione
    This means that "morality" works well in place of "manners"? Is it correct to say the "the basis of morality was shaky"?

    Thanks for your help
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You could say Nobody has taught these people the difference between right and wrong. Huda is talking about rules that are respected by right-thinking people everywhere; morals, and even more manners, are often understood as rules that vary from place to place, or from person to person.
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello Huda

    This means that "morality" works well in place of "manners"? Is it correct to say the "the basis of morality was shakey.

    You can use morals or morality, since in my opinion there's no difference. I don't know of any objective universal morality. You would need to say "the basis/foundation of their morals/ morality was shakey".

    I like SE16teddy's suggestion of "Nobody has taught these people the difference between right and wrong", but I try not to rewrite for people.

    Hermione
     
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