In the UK teenage criminals must be called “young persons”, not “youths” – to avoid offending them.
It is not a word usually associated with causing offence, even when those referred to have broken the law.
But ‘youth’ has been banned from guidelines on the treatment of criminals aged 16 and 17 – because ministers think it is too demeaning.
Instead, offenders must be referred to as ‘young persons’ in the latest code for prosecutors. The newly fashionable phrase is used 101 times in the document.
I have a better idea. How about calling them:
pimply purveyors of turpitude
There, I feel better now.