Friday, July 02, 2004

Dropping the F bomb

Slate has a nice piece on when newspapers will print the F-word. And they include some interesting numbers:
The most recent use of the term in most newspapers came in 1998, when the Post, the New York Times, and other papers reprinted the complete Starr Report, including Monica Lewinsky's declaration that Bill Clinton "helped fuck up [her] life." The Los Angeles Times has used the word three other times since 1985. Before today, and aside from the Starr Report, the decorous Post had printed "fuck" only one other time since 1987, in a direct quote in a 1992 feature about a death-row inmate's final days. (The paper even puckishly directs Web surfers who search for profanity in the Post's archives to the Miss Manners column.) Other media outlets, typically more daring in their verbiage, are another matter entirely. A Nexis search for uses of "fuck" in the Village Voice yields more than 1,000 hits; a similar search through the archives of the Seattle alternative weeklythe Stranger yields 2,180, most of which involve Dan Savage directly. The wilting daisies here at Slate have used "fuck" on 185 occasions—oops, 186.
What about your paper?


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