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You got to

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bruce Leroy, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Bruce Leroy

    Bruce Leroy Active Member

    I understand that plenty of places won't run "gotta" in a quote. I think there's nothing wrong with the word and don't know that I've ever spent much time around anyone who said "you have got to" instead of "you gotta." But one of my biggest beefs about cleaning up quotes is seeing "gotta" changed to "got to." If you don't like gotta, change it to "have got to." Changing it to "got to" sounds as awkward as awkward can be, and I see it in AP quotes on a regular basis.
  2. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    From the AP Stylebook:

    Under "slang": In general, avoid slang, the highly informal language that is outside of conventional or standard language.

    Under "colloquialisms": ... Other colloquial words normally should be avoided because they are substandard. Webster's New World notes, for example, that ain't is colloquial and not automatically illiterate or sub-standard usage. But it also notes that ain't is "a dialectical or substandard contraction." Thus it should not be used in news stories unless needed to illustrate substandard speech in writing.

    Under "dialect": The form of language peculiar to a region or group, usually in matters of pronunciation or syntax. Dialect should be avoided, even in a quotes manner, unless it is clearly pertinent to a story. There are some words or phrases in everyone's vocabulary that are typical of a particular region or group. Quoting dialect, unless used carefully, implies substandard or illiterate usage.

    Under "quotations in the news": Never alter quotations even to correct minor grammatical errors or word usage. Casual minor tongue slips may be removed by using ellipses, but even that should be done with extreme caution. If there is a question about a quote, either don't use it or ask the speaker to clarify. ... Do not routinely use abnormal spellings such as gonna in attempts to convey regional dialects or mispronunciations. Such spellings are appropriate when relevant or help to convey a desired touch in a feature.
  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Guy in Dirty Harry movie: "I gots to know."
  4. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    When a person says, "You gotta," and I want to use the quote, I usually make it, "You've got to." It eliminates the "gotta" but also retains the general sound of what the person said, more that, "You have got to," would, at least.
  5. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    The first rule I learned, in college, and take it to my grave because it cost me a writing award, is never use the word "gonna".

    I've cleaned up quotes and numerous times have had the person thank me for doing so. I've had some that asked me to clean it up beforehand. And I've NEVER had anyone complain of it.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    My first rule I learned in college was not to be caught in the girls' dorm.
    We must have attended different institutions.
  7. First rule I learned in college was no beer in the dorms.

    The second rule: Rules are meant to be broken.
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I don't use gonna or gotta as a general rule.
  9. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Yeah. We had that first rule, too. But it was altered over the years:

    "Don't let me see you with beer in the dorms."

    "If you've got beer in you room, just keep your door shut."

    "Don't be stupid. If you're bringing beer into the dorm, take it around the back entrance."

    "Eh, you're graduating this semester, right?"
  10. This was my favorite.

    "Give me a couple of beers and I won't say anything about the girl in your room."
  11. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I once did a summer session at school and my neighbors were a couple of RAs during the regular semesters, but were just students for the session. We drank just about every night on every floor, and if an actual RA came in, we were golden because they weren't going to rat out my neighbors. They were some of the best weeks of college I've ever had.
  12. Yup, the secret was keeping the RA's happy. Unfortunately, ours rotated weekends and there was one chick we couldn't bribe charm. She caught enough that I had to meet with a counselor on drinking.
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