Drop rubbish or Litter

Asker😊

New Member
Persian
Hi everyone!
Which one is more common:
Students are not allowed to drop rubbish in class.
Or
Students are not allowed to drop litter in class.
Thanks in advance!
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I don't hear "rubbish" that often. I hear "litter" (individual pieces of garbage) and "garbage" which is a gathering of litter in a container or bag of some sort.

    It was "garbage" that got Arlo Guthrie in trouble in "Alice's Restaurant".

    So we took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the city dump. Well, we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the Dump saying, "Closed on Thanksgiving". And we had never heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

    I don't know where "rubbish" falls in in the continuum from "litter" to "garbage" to "refuse". Someone else would have to provide guidance on that.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Rubbish, on this side of the pond, is pretty much the same as your garbage.

    The spelling on the torn packaging and scrunched-up wrappers is correct different, of course.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Which one is more common:
    Students are not allowed to drop rubbish in class.
    Or
    Students are not allowed to drop litter in class.
    Neither.
    Either of these work:
    Students are forbidden to drop litter in class / Students should not drop litter in class.

    Litter tends to be small things: wrappers, old paper hankies, use tickets, etc.
    Rubbish tends to be larger things that you would be unlikely to find in a class: old matresses; plastic bags filled with the contents of waste baskets; old bicycles; dirty and worn out clothes, etc.
    Rubbish is also a generic word for anything that someone considers worthless.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Neither.
    Either of these work:
    Students are forbidden to drop litter in class / Students should not drop litter in class.

    Litter tends to be small things: wrappers, old paper hankies, use tickets, etc.
    Rubbish tends to be larger things that you would be unlikely to find in a class: old matresses; plastic bags filled with the contents of waste baskets; old bicycles; dirty and worn out clothes, etc.
    Rubbish is also a generic word for anything that someone considers worthless.
    In the USA (or at least in my home town) we have "garbage trucks" that pickup "refuse" and deposit at the town dump. I don't think "refuse" is used in any other context (or at least I have not heard it being used).

    Also note that "litter" is also used as a verb in the USA. So I might expect to see: Students should not litter in class.
     

    Asker😊

    New Member
    Persian
    I don't hear "rubbish" that often. I hear "litter" (individual pieces of garbage) and "garbage" which is a gathering of litter in a container or bag of some sort.

    It was "garbage" that got Arlo Guthrie in trouble in "Alice's Restaurant".

    So we took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the city dump. Well, we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the Dump saying, "Closed on Thanksgiving". And we had never heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

    I don't know where "rubbish" falls in in the continuum from "litter" to "garbage" to "refuse". Someone else would have to provide guidance on that.
    Wow! So many thanks. That was a very nice answer with an interesting example.
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Wow! So many thanks. That was a very nice answer with an interesting example.
    Alice's Restaurant was a 1960s war protest song. It was remarkable that a song of over 18 minutes in length made #1 on the billboard charts. Radio stations are loathe to run songs that long as is interferes with their advertising revenue. Recordings are available online.

    Note the verb form "littering" being used in the Wiki entry.

    Here is more information: Alice's Restaurant - Wikipedia

    "Alice's Restaurant", also known as the "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", is a satirical talking blues song by singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, released as the title track to his 1967 debut album Alice's Restaurant. The song is a deadpan protest against the Vietnam War draft, in the form of a comically exaggerated but essentially true story from Guthrie's own life: he is arrested and convicted of dumping trash illegally, which later leads to him being rejected by the draft board due to his criminal record of littering (and the way he reacted when the induction personnel brought it up).
     

    Asker😊

    New Member
    Persian
    Alice's Restaurant was a 1960s war protest song. It was remarkable that a song of over 18 minutes in length made #1 on the billboard charts. Radio stations are loathe to run songs that long as is interferes with their advertising revenue. Recordings are available online.

    Note the verb form "littering" being used in the Wiki entry.

    Here is more information: Alice's Restaurant - Wikipedia

    "Alice's Restaurant", also known as the "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", is a satirical talking blues song by singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, released as the title track to his 1967 debut album Alice's Restaurant. The song is a deadpan protest against the Vietnam War draft, in the form of a comically exaggerated but essentially true story from Guthrie's own life: he is arrested and convicted of dumping trash illegally, which later leads to him being rejected by the draft board due to his criminal record of littering (and the way he reacted when the induction personnel brought it up).
    Thanks again, I'm going to listen to it!
     
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