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"Kicked our ass" vs. "Kicked our [butt]"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Sneed, May 27, 2009.

  1. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    Just saw this quote from Bill Plaschke (sp?) on LATimes.com:

    But I heard the postgame press conference and Bryant definitely said a word that got bleeped. In this case, is the proper thing to do simply substitute a word, as Plaschke did, or insert it like [this]?
     
  2. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I don't think we can even get away with butt at my shop. Regardless, I would have made it clear that I changed a word in the quote.
     
  3. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    my shop just decreed we cannot use "ass" or "(butt)" in these sort of cases. must somehow write around it, equally confounding.

    whatever. it's their shop.

    my own taste/experience would go with "(butt)." every shop has its own stylebook for such matters, though.
     
  4. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    If it's not a quote, it has to have parentheticals.

    Period.
     
  5. mediaguy

    mediaguy Active Member

    You can't change a direct quote to soften or sanitize it like that. The right call is to write (butt) or simply (expletive). Or you can paraphrase.
     
  6. Yep. Can't just change.
     
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    This is sadly so indicative of what plagues newspapers -- we have editors whose judgments formed with Ozzie And Harriet, and who think they're still the filter for this kind of stuff. In this day and age where every press conference is on TV and anything remotely quotable gets burned into everybody's brain, we still haggle over whether our populace's delicate ears can handle the word "ass," as if we are the ones controlling the conversation instead of reporting on it. Hell, only in the last 2-3 years have we gotten comfortable with the idea that a player saying his team "sucked" does not necessarily mean he is referring to halftime fellatio.

    Such a dated argument. Such a waste of time. Meanwhile, watch How I Met Your Mother or Two And A Half Men sometime and you'll think the government censors have been kidnapped.
     
  8. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    LTL, I get what you're saying.

    And yet, oddly, I can read "ass" online much more easily than I can read it on newsprint.
     
  9. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    Slight threadjack to start: I love the rhythms of this place. I've been here for years -- reading a lot more than I post -- and this topic returns from time to time, like the swallows at Capistrano or my buddy's semi-annual car burglary in which he loses all of his camera shit. But I digress ...

    Put me down in the can't-use-a-different-word-in-a-direct-quote-without-parentheses-and-I-despise-parentheses-in-quotes-so-maybe-you-ought-to-just-paraphrase-if-your-delicate-sensibilities-can't-take-the-word-ass camp.
     
  10. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    It amazes me that most newspapers won't allow ass or butt (in the print edition) yet in the comments section on the Internet ... WOW.
    Racist comments, sexist, words like prick, suck, asshole, etc., are COMMONPLACE.
    Somebody explain to me the double-standard?
    Oh wait ... it's clicks. Don't dare edit or remove a comment on a story even with slander, racist remarks or cuss words.
    What a business.
     
  11. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Fredrick, this is such a minor thing in the midst of all your anti-newspaper-on-the-Internet diatribes, but it would really not grate so much if you'd stop talking about "clicks."

    "Clicks" is something that, as a term on its own (like "hits"), has been passe for, I don't know, years.

    Accommodate an old guy and say "page views" or something. Please?

    As for the other, A) yep, if he changed the word, it had to be a parenthetical reference and B) I don't think newspapers should really be worried anymore about words that you can say in one context and it's perfectly fine, but in another it's considered "dirty." And "ass" and "suck" top that list.

    And Shockey, that's really weird that "butt" doesn't even make it at your place. Not knocking it, just saying.
     
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    You indeed put it in parentheses if you change it - but we used to have this discussion. Does anyone read "[butt]" as butt? Or do they just read "ass?" So why not just say it? Of course, you can't but it made for some interesting talk.
    The best was years ago when Pam Shriver said Fuck you, you piece of shit to Tracy Austin.
    "[Bleep] you, you piece of [bleep]," made a lot of papers. One local tennis dad called me, laughing his [bleep] off. "Why not just say it"" he asked. "Like anyone couldn't figure that out?"
     
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