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“Lad” outbreak hits critical level

Know someone affected by lad tourettes? As Mersey health watchdogs issue epidemic red alert, Jay Boardman and Jennifer Eccles investigate

Published on October 16th 2008.

“Lad” outbreak hits critical level

DOCTORS on Merseyside were in fresh crisis talks last night after issuing a warning that the region may be on the verge of a new epidemic.

They are calling for urgent action to be taken, after claiming that they have spent months, with "poor or no funding", trying to raise awareness among the general public of the little understood affliction. Last night, however, the situation was described as "out of control".

It is understood that the relatively new condition affects those within the 15 to 29 age range, with males originally thought to be most at risk.

Its debilitating effects, say medical experts, can turn simple verbal communication into a struggle, and can therefore have a major impact on the life of the sufferer, making formal situations, such as job interviews, very difficult.

Now concerned public health figures have formed a pressure group and launched a media campaign to highlight the problems caused by the condition, known as Lad Tourettes, which also offers support to affected families and communities on a day to day basis.

Calling themselves S.A.L.T (Scousers Against Lad Tourettes), they are hoping to align individual efforts and force both the Health Department and Merseyside's councils to take the issue more seriously.

We hit the streets of Liverpool city centre today and, of the ten people we interviewed, all had been affected by, or had some personal experience of Lad Tourettes.

John, 35, from Old Swan told us: “Yeah I’ve noticed it a lot, my next door neighbour for example would always let onto me with a polite 'Hi, how are you?', but over time he changed. Now it's, like: “Alright lad, s’appenin lad?' He said it to my mother and now she is too frightened to go out.”

Sandra, 46, from Crosby has noticed that her 17-year-old has started to show signs of developing the condition, too. “Just recently it’s been getting worse,” she told us.

“It’s got to the point now that when my eldest is talking to friends I can’t understand what they’re saying. All I

can hear is 'lad, lad, lad'. It wouldn't be so bad, but they are all girls.”

What makes the spread of the condition more worrying, say experts, is that the sufferers themselves often either don’t realise, or refuse to accept that they have become afflicted, and even at times doubt its very existence. Until it's too late.

Lee, 17, from Speke, is one such example: “Lad, I don’t know what you mean lad, this is just how I talk innit lad, d'yer get me?” he shrugged, before chinning our reporter.

If you feel you have been affected by these issues or you know someone who has, then please feel free to write, in complete confidence, to Channel 4 and see if they will commission a long-running soap out of it.

*Next time: We count how often the word “kidder” is used in The Secret Millionaire Garston Christmas Special.

Jay Boardman runs the Face Book group Scousers Against The Lad Tourettes Epidemic

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

albert dockOctober 15th 2008.

personally i don't give a flying mallard regarding the use of the word lad. surely this is one of the less tedious aspects of these tiresome excuses for humanity!

‘Ey lazzzz, my mate fancies you!October 15th 2008.

- a daily inconvenience of the teenage years for those of us blessed with Frankie Vaughan-style, matinee-idol looks when passing girls’ schools or off-licences.

Rusty SpikeOctober 15th 2008.

Very Irish though, isn't it Lord Street. Indeed maybe Cork or the west...try it in a mock Graham Norton accent and it actually sounds rather pleasant and welcoming...helloo lads, let's get the gargle in. In the Scouse patois it sounds like a threat or a blockage in the throat.

Susan DonheimeOctober 15th 2008.

Ok, so the 'lad' thing is more tiresome than the spoken word can say to quote Roger Hardaker. Maybe the lady-boys of liverpool, i.e. women under the age of 25 may like to fool around with the idea of 'lass' - radicle I know as it hails from Yorkshire or Lanchashire (is there a difference, roses aside?) so - the clarion call for lady scousers everywhere from now on is..... 'lass' . will it catch on.......? I think not. Just a thought. x

Lad all overOctober 15th 2008.

I wouldn't say this is about the scouse accent, its unintelligabilty or otherwise, but about the lad word which I have never heard spoken with such rapid fire in all my years as a scouser. Spy on some scallies and you will find the frequency of the word is quite remarkable in any sentence. "Alright, lad, have you been to see your social worker, lad, he's off his head, lad." etc

Laddie from LancashireOctober 15th 2008.

Hear hear, Susan Donheime! You sound like a right smart lass!

AnonymousOctober 15th 2008.

I've never seen a poor scally in my life. Jeez!

JonsonShineOctober 15th 2008.

I love it when the intellectuals mock the lower classes. It's funny because they're poor, I get it! (chortle)

Property Lad - erOctober 15th 2008.

"Roger Hardaker"?

Lad the ImpalerOctober 15th 2008.

They're probably just fed up saying 'mate' or 'mace' and fancied a change lad. I think it's an improvement myself,lad.

Rusty SpikeOctober 15th 2008.

Apropos Lord Street: indeed they do Sir Lord, but isnt' that Ee aye Lad, or ecky thumb lad, rather than feck off lad? And what's this 'in more Catholic areas' assertion? Sort of: Den der was dis lad, like, who was the Son of God, like lad. I think not, Lord Street, or rather I -erm - pray it isn't so. Terence Davies would go into a flat spin, what with his reverence (ahem) for Papists and Catholic thuggery.

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