The Dalai Lama Said What? Transcription Error Puts F Bomb in His Holiness’s Mouth

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Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

The Dalai Lama during a lecture in Boston on Oct. 14, 2012

Though the closed captioning may suggest otherwise, the Dalai Lama did not actually drop the F bomb during a recent lecture at Brown University.

According to reports, the slipup occurred when His Holiness was urging his audience to share their thoughts with others. If those thoughts weren’t stressed, the Buddhist leader said, the audience could “forget it.” But the stenographer providing the closed captions apparently heard something else entirely, according to Web news site the Daily.

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The crowd of about 5,600 seemed slightly confused that the Nobel Peace Prize winner would say such a thing. Some even believed that the Dalai Lama had indeed used an expletive; the same comment had allegedly prompted confusion in earlier lectures. A university spokesman has confirmed that the Dalai Lama did not swear, and many have attributed the confusion to his Tibetan accent.

During the lecture, which was held at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, the Dalai Lama urged for “a century of compassion and peace” while also emphasizing environmental protection. The exiled Tibetan leader is currently on a speaking tour of New England that includes stops in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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Erica Ho is a contributor at TIME and the editor of Map Happy. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.