Say 'vous' not 'tu' in French to limit virus spread

Aix-Marseille University linguist Médéric Gasquet-Cyrus points to a drawing of the vocal organs to explain how to avoid the wrong consonants
Médéric Gasquet-Cyrus from Aix-Marseille University shows how to avoid the wrong consonants

French speakers should say ‘vous’ to each other rather than ‘tu’ and avoid colourful French insults, to avoid spraying out spit droplets that could contain the Covid-19 virus, linguists say.

Experts on speech and language have (with tongue positioned somewhat in cheek) been examining how the way we talk can help cut down the risk of spreading droplets

It is well known that a cough or sneeze can violently project these out of the mouth, but it also happens to a lesser extent during speech, especially if you use a lot of consonants, the researchers say.

This is especially the case for the ‘plosive’ consonants, such as ‘b’ and ‘p’ explains a linguist from Aix-Marseille University, Médéric Gasquet-Cyrus, in a video made for France Bleu Provence. 

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