I refuse to berate the French.
They have brought so much good into the world--cheese, wine, the nose of Gerard Depardieu, the tucked right arm of Napoleon--that their independence of word and deed should be respected. Even if occasionally it seems a little on the recalcitrant, or even drippy, side.
So please rise up with me and sing a little Charles Aznavour for the French broadcasting regulator who has banned on-air personnel from uttering some wretched anglicisms--specifically, "Facebook" and "Twitter."
An expat blogger, Matthew Fraser, explained that this ban has interesting and, naturally, intellectual roots.
There happens to be a 1992 decree that says TV and radio journalists should be models of opprobrium. Ergo, inviting viewers to follow you on Facebook or Twitter is, quite clearly, "clandestine advertising."
The French are quite correct.
The devious minds behind these social tentacles know that as long as they keep their services free, everyone will use them, which means they will become entirely ubiquitous, which means that they will be mentioned everywhere, which means that they will enjoy free advertising for ever more in every medium on every living day.
Why on Earth should the impoverished French broadcasting companies support these highly munificent American concerns, especially when Americans make such cruel, unusual, and unfounded jokes about everything from male French politicians to French cowardice to the cowardice of male French politicians?
It's certainly not France's fault that the sheep of the world have been duped into following each other and those whom they desperately revere (but will never know) on these virtual networks of alleged friendship.
France has gone out of its way to reveal the perils that are inherent in so many things we take for granted. Why, only today, an intellectual from a French school of political science revealed that the Smurfs are racist and anti-Semitic.
I should say that the news anchors are still allowed to use the words "Facebook" and "Twitter" if they happen to be relevant to a particular story. For example: "French politician sends naked picture of self on Twitter to every French voter."
However, I am confident that not one single French citizen will miss the now standard cliche at the end of each broadcast entreating every viewer to please keep in contact with the news station on one or other of the American social networks.
I will therefore be propagating my views by every possible means. Please follow me all day and every day at Twitter.com/ChrisMatyszczyk to enjoy my evolving views on this most important and passionate of subjects.