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When to properly use the N word

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by boots, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. boots

    boots New Member

    We all, for the most part, agree that quotes should be attributed correctly. What do you do when a young athlete, and we do mean young, uses the N word repeatedly during an interview? The context wasn't racist in nature but just the way this young man expresses himself. Do you use the quotes. Incidentally, the youngster is a high-profile stud.
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    I'd sanitize it.
  3. Bruhman

    Bruhman Active Member

    well, some Gen Xers use the N-word and "mofo" interchangably.

    we wouldn't use "mofo" in their quotes.

    i suggest we treat the N-word the same way.
  4. ServeItUp

    ServeItUp Active Member

    I was unaware there was a "proper" way to use it.
  5. Marvin

    Marvin Active Member

  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Maybe you could do this, so people know it's not meant in a bad way.

    Running back Boobie Clark said that he expects his lineman to perfect well for him this season.

    "Those are my n...ers :D; they better take care of me," Boobie said.
  7. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    I'm very uncomfortable with that word and I think the only time you use it in a newspaper is if you absolutely, positively have to. A high school kid who uses the n-word instead of "buddies" or "teammates" don't meet that standard.
  8. Never under any circumstances. Unless, of course, you'd think it was aesthetically pleasing to see picketers on the front steps of your newspaper.

    And actually, it might be been proper to tell the young man that you were writing for newspaper and not Vibe magazine.

    I, of course, believe his parents should be bitch-slapped because he thinks it's appropriate to use that word in that setting.

    Done ranting.
  9. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    There's my "N" word, certainly.
  10. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    My first thought was "you mean, 'No'?"

    But this does bring up an interesting point. If I'm talking to a kid and his language is laced with the derogatory reference to black people, then I'm just not going to use that quote.

    If, on the other hand, you have someone who got fired from a job for saying that particular word, and it's in the public interest, there has to be a way to make it clear what the offending word was.

    Oh, and if I have to sanitize it, then I'm going to paraphrase. what's in those quotation marks is sacrosanct in my view, and shouldn't be messed with.
  11. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I'd sanatise it and then have a word with his coach. For the kid's sake (if he's out of H.S. then fuck it, let him dig his own grave), I wouldn't want him using it in a live situation that could get him in a whole bunch of trouble.
  12. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    expendable - while i agree with sanitizing the word or not using the quote(s) all together, i have to disagree with talking with his coach. no. 1, the coach probably already knows he speaks this way and no. 2, it's simply not your job ... more than that, it's unethical. we are supposed to be dispassionate observers, or, we report what we see if it's relevant. we are not in the business of policing prep athletes.
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