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Corrupt good manners

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:33 am
by Stevenloan
A: You'd better tell your son to stop hanging out with that bad crowd. Otherwise he will be a criminal sooner or later.
B: You're right. Evil communications corrupt good manners.

Hi guys! I use "Evil communications corrupt good manners" here to mean "If you associate with bad people, you will be bad and vice versa". Do I use it correctly in this case?

Your answers will be greatly appreciated.

StevenLoan

Re: Corrupt good manners

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:01 pm
by Erik_Kowal
I think 'associates' or 'associations' would be better than 'communications' in this context. The issue here isn't the communication of information, but character.

'Manners' is also an unsuitable word choice, because it implies that there is a problem of etiquette rather than of morals.

However, changing the wording to something like "Evil associates corrupt good morals" would still not make the utterance sound like something a native speaker would be likely to say. Try instead:

"They're a bad influence [on him]".

Re: Corrupt good manners

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:57 am
by Stevenloan
Erik : Thanks a lot for your answer. Erik and other native speakers : Is there a general term or a common idiom that means "If you associate with bad people, you will be bad and vice versa"?

Thanks so much!

StevenLoan

Re: Corrupt good manners

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:23 pm
by Erik_Kowal
There are several proverbs or sayings which express the general idea that people of similar character, etc. tend to associate. The first of the ones I've listed relates specifically to people of bad character:

If you lie down with dogs, you will rise with fleas

Birds of a feather
[i.e. which resemble each other] flock together

Like attracts like

Re: Corrupt good manners

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:37 am
by trolley
There are also several variations along the lines of "you are judged by the company you keep" which doesn't mean that your company will judge you but, rather, you will be judged by others based on the company you keep. I think it may be a biblical quote. I suppose it could be used to mean that If you hang out with good people, you will be judged to be a good person but I only ever recall hearing it in a negative sense...more like a warning. I heard it many times from my Dad.

Re: Corrupt good manners

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:36 am
by Stevenloan
Erik and trolley : Thank you both so so much for the idioms. They are super useful.

StevenLoan

Re: Corrupt good manners

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:46 pm
by BonnieL
It's also in the Bible: "Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”" I Corinthians 15:33