Dalai Lama Brown University, The Dalai Lama delivers Brown University’s Stephen A. Ogden Jr. ’60 Memorial Lecture on International Affairs on Wednesday at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. After calling upon the audience to create a peaceful society through dialogue, he instructed listeners to “forget it” if they disagreed with his points. A transcriber thought he had said “f— it.”
Speaking at Brown University Wednesday, the Dalai Lama appeared to tell listeners that if they didn’t like his message about living peaceful lives, they could just “f—” it.
At least, that’s what audience members were led to believe when a stenographer accidentally attributed the four-letter word to the 77-year-old on the many closed captioned video screens playing at the event.
Speaking before a crowd of 5,600, the Nobel Peace Prize winner encouraged the largely college-aged audience to reflect on his points about creating a peaceful society through dialogue – but only if they wanted to.
“If you feel these points are not much relevant – not much interest,” he said into a small microphone, “then forget.”
That last word – mangled a bit by the Dalai Lama’s accent – posed a problem for a stenographer, who wrote it out as the phrase “f— it.”
The Dalai Lama has a history of causing confusion and laughter with his pronunciation of the word “forget.” Some thought they heard the f-word last week at a speech in Charlottesville, Va., and several years ago he tickled a crowd when he said, “We should forget about our religious differences.”
Immediately after the profanity was blasted on the convention center screens, the audience burst into laughter and applause, while the Dalai Lama and Brown University President Christina Paxson remained onstage, apparently unaware of the blunder.
“The Dalai Lama’s last word of the day, verified by his personal translator, was ‘forget,'” Brown University spokesperson Darlene Crist told the Daily News, adding that the university “regrets any confusion caused by the transcription.”
This isn’t the first time the Dalai Lama’s pronunciation of the word “forget” has tickled audience funny bones.