Tour de France organisers insist Yorkshire volunteers can say 'love' to visitors

Tour de France bosses affirm that race will 'celebrate everything Yorkshire' - and that volunteers won't have to 'take elocution lessons'

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The Independent Online

They are the characteristic greetings which we understand as a typical part of traditional Yorkshire warmth.

But preparations to host the Tour de France in God’s own county turned to controversy earlier this week, when the Yorkshire tourist board told volunteers to avoid using greetings like ‘darling’ or ‘love’.

And now tour organisers have hit back at the suggestion that Yorkshire inhabitants should mind their language, according to The Huffington Post.

They say they are keen to preserve the identity of the county and maintain the traditional northern greetings when visitors flock to the dales, despite warnings the phrases “could offend some people”.

Thousands of volunteers have been recruited to steward the opening two stages of the Tour de France when it starts on July 5 and 6.

But an online training video raised eyebrows and provoked complaints from some because it advised volunteers to mind their language and steer clear of words “such as ’mate’, ’love’ or ‘darling’”.

A spokesman for the Yorkshire tourist board insisted that the race would “celebrate everything Yorkshire”, and explained that the warnings over language use were issued to avoid “confusion for our overseas visitors”.

"This is not about volunteers taking elocution lessons, far from it, it’s about making the volunteers aware in the training process that some of our accepted local turns of phrase could get lost in translation," they added.

One volunteer told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I can see why it makes sense but it’s going to need a lot of concentration for every single one of us to stop calling people ‘love’.”