This suggests that, in addition to not having money for asterisks, Newsweek’s thesaurus has been stolen. Because there are plenty of other words she might have used. “Angry,” “irritated,” “ticked off” and “mad as a wet hen” come to mind.
In response to criticism over its newly vulgar vocabulary, a Newsweek spokesperson noted that newsstand sales and subscriptions have increased in the past year. That may or may not justify asterisk-free journalism, but perhaps a circulation war is no time to worry about 6-year-olds, grandmothers and clergypersons.
But what about adult subscribers who prefer to read analyses of politics, economics and other news without being assailed by “f” words and “s” words? What about students not of legal swearing age who may have been assigned homework that involves reading news magazines?
On a purely personal note, what about those of us who think writers who need to resort to vulgarisms are either lazy, trying too hard to be edgy or both?
There are, as Newsweek argues, instances in which public figures use obscenities while being interviewed and it’s necessary to quote them completely and in context.
But that’s why most responsible publications make sure they have an ample supply of asterisks.
Contact D.L. Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.