[Ads-l] The Mooch and print journalism

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jul 30 00:37:44 UTC 2017

> On Jul 29, 2017, at 4:29 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> now allows its writers to use the emphatic "fuck"/"fucking".
> In editorials too?
> JL

Well, presumably if it’s part of a quote rather than as an expressive expletive, whatever the editorialist is thinking.  The old use-mention thingy again, which sometimes but not always extends to the n-word as well.
> On Sat, Jul 29, 2017 at 2:27 PM, George Thompson <george.thompson at nyu.edu>
> wrote:
>> As I recall, during the Cheney administration, Dick Cheney told someone to
>> go fuck himself.  the NYTimes printed it in full, and responded to a
>> complaint by saying that the words of the president-behind-the-throne had
>> said was the news story and it could not properly be reported without
>> quoting them.
>> Meanwhile, TLS (the Times Literary Supplement), a sister publication to the
>> [London] Times, the original Gray Lady, now allows its writers to use the
>> emphatic "fuck"/"fucking".  Mind you, that Times is now owned by Rupert
>> Murdock.
>> GAT
>> On Sat, Jul 29, 2017 at 2:14 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
>> wrote:
>>> On the topic of The Mooch:
>>> Interesting moment in the history of the F-word and related
>>> asteriskabilia...
>>> As many of you have no doubt noticed, The Mooch’s rant (first of what we
>>> can hope will be many) has led to the Decency Drawbridge being
>>> significantly lowered by the Gray Lady and other news sources.  Am I
>> right
>>> in thinking this was the first (or one of the first) instances in which
>> the
>>> Times has printed “fucking” in so many letters? (Jesse will know.) Not to
>>> mention the bit where The Mooch maintains that he, unlike Bannon, isn’t
>>> “trying to suck [his] own cock”.  Note this article in today’s print
>>> version reflecting on the issue:
>>> =====================
>>> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/28/business/scaramuccis-
>>> vulgar-rant-spurs-newsroom-debate-asterisks-or-no-asterisks.html
>>> […]
>>> At The New York Times, editors had a lengthy, raucous discussion about
>>> which obscenities to include, and how many. Dean Baquet, the executive
>>> editor of The Times, made the final decision.
>>> “We concluded that it was newsworthy that a top Trump aide used such
>>> language,” Cliff Levy, a deputy managing editor at The Times, wrote on
>>> Twitter. “And we didn’t want our readers to have to search elsewhere to
>>> find out what Scaramucci said.”
>>> Still, the publication of so many expletives and vulgarities, while
>> deemed
>>> newsworthy, may have baffled any reader accustomed to The Times of yore.
>>> “There is no question in my mind that in recent years, we have been more
>>> open to considering exceptions in a range of cases,” Phil Corbett, the
>>> standards editor for The Times, said. “Fifteen years ago, we almost never
>>> would have made exceptions like this.”
>>> One Times policy has remained intact: after publishing vulgar language
>> and
>>> obscenities in an article, the paper rarely repeats them in subsequent
>>> ones. And, thus, this story.
>>> =================
>>> —That is, Ember’s article itself avoids all such terms, referring instead
>>> to "an F and G with asterisks between" and “C-blocking”.  But while that
>>> may be the Times’ policy, it apparently can be relaxed for columnists, as
>>> seen in this op-ed by Bret Stephens in the same issue, which spells
>>> everything out in full (sixth and seventh paragraphs down):
>>> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/28/opinion/trump-vulgarity-
>>> scaramucci-conservatives.html
>>> LH
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> --
>> George A. Thompson
>> The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
>> Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>> Univ. Pr., 1998.
>> But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
>> your lowly tomb. . .
>> L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112
>> The Trump of Doom -- affectionately (of course) also known as The Dunghill
>> Toadstool.  (Here's a picture of one.)
>> http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-
>> gillray/an-excrescence---a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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