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Huckleberries Online

HBO — to OrangeTV re: Potty-Mouth Columnist

OrangeTV: “Well, H-E-Double_Hockey_Sticks!! (Another gem from the CDA Press ‘Editorial’ page):” ‘I was very surprised to read in Marty Fortier’s column the use of the following language: “…what the hell…” We have citizens of all ages reading the paper, and I feel it is irresponsible to set that type of example — especially to adolescents. Acceptance of such language in our newspaper tells students that it is just fine to speak that way. I personally found it in very poor taste’ — Cathyanne Nonini.”

DFO: Hmm. Cathyanne’s complaint might sound trite at a time when late-night fare drops SOBs right and left as well as other cuss words. But a little civility never hurts. I was e-mailed by a fellow this morning who has decided to quit commenting here because, among other things, our filter wouldn’t allow him to use a cuss-slang word that substitutes for griping. Amazing. I’d guess Fortier was using WTH for shock value when he should have resorted to better writing. (Example of recent Fortier column here.)

Question: Should a newspaper allow low-level profanity to seep into its news columns? Or should it consider the children in the readership audience and continue to block them?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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