Daily newspapers are notoriously cautious when it comes to language issues. A More Messages blog from August notes that the Rocky Mountain News's spelled the word "ass" as "a--" in a piece that quoted Colorado Republican Party chieftain Dick Wadhams. In addition, the Rocky posted a snippet from a George Carlin routine called "Just Enough B.S." that contained no naughty lingo whatsoever -- amazing given the late Carlin's fondness for profanity. And a 2005 Message column points out that the Denver Post twice spelled "sucks" as "su---" as recently as 2001.
When viewed in this context, an opinion piece by Bob Greenlee published in the October 5 Boulder Daily Camera is mighty bold. Not only does it contain a prominent "sucks": It places the word in a headline that reads, "More Bucks Simply Sucks."
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At this writing, the comments generated by the offering deal with the crux of Greenlee's argument, not the way the Camera labeled it. The lack of reader outcry begs the question: What's the next slightly risqué word to jump to daily newspaper headline status? "Bastard"? "Bitch"? "Va-jay-jay"? The future of journalism hangs in the balance... -- Michael Roberts