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Nov
12
Airchecker
English F-Word Deemed Acceptable For French Radio
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Canada’s broadcast standards regulator has ruled that a swear word that’s off-limits on English-language broadcasts is acceptable in French programming.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that a Quebec music radio station did not violate any rules by airing two clips of celebrities using the F-word as part of public speeches.

A listener of CKOI-FM filed a complaint after hearing the profane clips from Madonna and Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong played two months apart on afternoon programming.

The council ruled that CKOI-FM did not violate broadcast standards by playing the uncensored clips.

It says the F-word does not have the same “vulgar connotation” in French that it does in English and notes that the term was not used as an insult directed at a specific target.

The latest ruling is consistent with a similar decision handed down last year regarding a French-language television broadcast.

CKOI referred to that past decision that excused television network MusiquePlus’ use of the F-word in a broadcast, emphasizing that the word is construed differently in Canada’s two official languages.

The broadcast standards regulator referenced that decision again in its latest ruling, noting that language is evolutionary and reflects current society.

“The panel prefers to impress upon broadcasters the need for appropriate viewer advisories and correct classification of programs rather than to target the occasional usage of vernacular language,” the latest decision said.

Chantal Bouchard, a sociolinguist with McGill University, said the English obscenity is fairly commonly used by French speakers in informal conversation.



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