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'When we was ...'

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Faced with quotes like this, what do you do?

    "When we was up about 29 points, just [Manning's] whole emotion was kind of like he was dry," McDaniel said, according to NFL.com. "Just the whole team looked like they was giving up, and once we scored again, I knew it was over."

  2. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    Since I cover mostly high school sports, I'll clean it up for the kids. No need to make a 16-year old look bad. An adult is on his own though.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I was taught to always clean it up unless it changed the context of the quote. I'm not saying that is the right or wrong way to do it, but that was what I did because that's how I was taught as an intern.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I don't care about McDaniel. I do care about readers forced to muddle through that. It's jarring.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I had an incident where a college player said he didn't say something that I quoted him saying in a story. The coach (a good guy) called me and asked me about it and said the player said it was taken out of context. I told him, "I have the tape and I'd be happy to play it for you. That specific part of the quote is exact, but I did edit 10 'You know what I'm sayins?' from the rest of his comments.

    He laughed and that was that.
  6. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    Clean it up. Use parenthesis if that makes you more comfortable.
    But when Richard Petty says he "blowed a tire" you leave it the hell alone. That's King Speak.
  7. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    "The car run strong" is also the King's English ...
  8. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I won't touch syntax or grammar errors in someone's speech.
    I will change accents.
    In Rhode Island there isn't a word that ends in R, so when I print a quote that says "I got the pitch I was looking for and I hit a homer" it was probably closer to "I got da pitch I was lookin faw and I hit a homah."
  9. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Makes you wonder what classes these people took in college. Or even high school.
  10. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Never edit quotes. That's why "paraphrasing" exists if you're uncomfortable with someone's exact quote.

    As the man says, "once you edit a quote, it ain't a quote anymore."
  11. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Be that as it may, it's going to be rare when I don't change "gonna" to "going to" and a dozen other similar examples.
  12. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Be that as it may, and don't take this personally, I would never hire someone who admitted that to me.

    You admitted to misrepresenting reality, however minor, and I have no way of knowing what else you'd misrepresent.

    It's not our job to fix our subject's grammar. If the person you're quoting can't speak, then either quote exactly, paraphrase, do without, or get someone coherent to say the same thing.

    That's four options you have before getting to altering the reality of the situation.

    If the subject doesn't like the way the quote makes him/her look, then maybe they'll speak differently next time. Again, not our problem.
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