French kissing Facebook & Twitter?

Forget it. France has banned the use of these two words because they amount to “clandestine advertising”. If you say you are a “tweeter”, then France's Superior Audiovisual Council will ask you to shut up. You also cannot mention “Facebook events”. Apparently, there have been earlier attempts to regulate words like “Coke” and even “e-mail”.

French TV and radio employees must use a generic phrase like “social network” or “reseaux sociaux,” rather than Facebook or Twitter. Exceptions involve citing sources of information, as one might use the newspapers Le Monde or Le Figaro to cite the origin of a news story.

It seems okay, but does France not have a McDonald’s? Don’t they drink Coke?

“This decision is not only stupid and hypocritical, it is also scary because behind the legal alibi, it reeks of anti-Americanism, chauvinism, and a complete misunderstanding of today's world,” says Karim Emile Bitar, a frequent commentator on French affairs at a Paris think tank.

Most internet activity that has germinated in the United States has made inroads in other countries with their own language versions that cater to the nation. But these are in the area of search engines, maps, locators, and special-interest activities.

Is France becoming a closed society? How does not using a specific word and continuing to use the social network make sense? This is not chauvinism but hypocrisy. If anything, the French do not have to worry about Americanisms because the major elite industries like fashion and art-house cinema are still their preserve, not to speak about gourmet cuisine.

I respect each society’s need to preserve its culture, but this is not culture. This is just expanding the universe and connecting.

Now if only Americans bid adieu to referring to their deep-soul snogging as a French kiss and completely did away with any thoughts of a ménage a trios we’d have a cause celebre.

Oh, la la, that would be a piece de resistance. Non?

PS: To think that the only reason I wrote my first letter to the editor while in school was because I wanted to use the word ‘Apropos’. I won the best letter prize. Touché.

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