Wednesday, June 28, 2006

B#$A*()D W*$O^*R#$D@!S

Favorite Question, from the Chicago Manual of Style

Q. Is there a standard for replacing an expletive with special $%!# characters?

A. Although there isn’t a steady demand for masked expletives in scholarly prose, this is weirdly one of our frequently asked questions. (I have to wonder who is reading the Q&A—and what they are writing.) The symbols are fine for cartoons and e-mail messages, where you may arrange them in whatever order pleases you. In formal prose, however, we find that a 2-em dash makes a d——d fine replacement device.

Speaking of $#%*(@ bad language, has anyone noticed how crude Spanish words are creeping into TV shows? Last night, one of those CSI or NCSI or something shows on network TV had a character use the word "pendejo" without blinking an eye. Is anyone checking those scripts?
Print is not exempt--a paper I was once associated with used a Spanish term that Puerto Ricans translate as "jackoff" in a story explaining how it was a clue as to the origins of some criminals.

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