Tour de France guides banned from using Yorkshire-isms
As reported in a feature in The Telegraph, it seems volunteers hired to offer a warm welcome to visitors flocking to Yorkshire for this year’s Tour de France have been banned from using local phrases such as ‘love’ in case they offend visitors. Now, chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson and veteran cricket umpire Dickie Bird have joined the protests at the ban on traditional Yorkshire terms of endearment.
The small army of volunteers acting as meet and greet staff or Tour Makers during the cycling event admitted they were surprised to be told to mind their language. An online training tutorial prepared for the Tour Makers informs them that they should avoid calling visitors ‘love’.
And it’s not just that traditional Tyke term of endearment that’s off limits; they are also told to steer clear of addressing people as ‘mate’ and ‘darling’.
The tutorial says: “Be confident and naturally friendly.
“Avoid using words such as ‘mate’, ‘love’ or ‘darling’ – they may sound friendly to you, but they could offend some people.”
Sir Michael Parkinson, who was born near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, said: “I have never heard of anything as daft in my life.
“They are trying to ban a word that is a classic term of endearment in the north and everyone know it. Absolutely unbelieveable.
“Yorkshire folk should turn their backs on the Tour de France riders as they go past! The word ‘love’ is what Yorkshire is all about!”
Asked about the advice, a spokesman for the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency said: “Yorkshire is quite rightly well known for its famous warm welcome and that won’t change. “However, we don’t want volunteers to use language that may cause confusion for our overseas visitors.”
Almost 12,000 Tour Makers will be on hand to assist fans during the opening three stages of the high-profile race. The first two sections take place in Yorkshire on July 5 and 6, with the third to follow between Cambridge and London on July 7.
So, what do you think? Yorkshire dialect or politically correct? We know which side of t’fence we’re sitting on at Le Tour Guide. Love.
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