March 30, 2010

Watchers of media release forbidden words

Oh my. I'd forgotten how careful newspapers sometimes try to be about using certain words.

Imagine the difficulty faced by a newspaper in a community where a "hip-hop retelling of "The Taming of the Shrew" is called "Slap That Bitch." What to do, what to do.

Oregon Media Central used the occasion to provide the list of banned words in The Oregonian. They looked through the stylebook. They searched the archives. And then they told the story.

Oh, they also did a followup to their "filthy article" to let us know what this Advance Publication / Newhouse newspaper handled previewing and reviewing "Slap That Bitch."

(I worked almost 30 years for a newspaper that falls under the umbrella of Advance Publications, aka Newhouse newspapers, or Booth Newspapers or ... From time to time, I can't resist checking out what's up with that newspaper or other media properties in the family. Even better, I can't resist sharing. So yes, I've written about The Oregonian before. Lawsuits, retirements, buyouts and more. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my.)

This subject remind me of the newspaper that forbid the word porn because it offended the Porn family who lived in the circulation area. OK, time for sleep.)


  1. Broadcast has its problems also. My father a retired advertising executive recalls the time a show that he was involved with as an advertiser had GM and Chevrolet as a major sponsor.

    The script called for one of the characters (it was a western) to tell his buddies: "We're going to ford the river at something-something junction."

    Well, there was much gnashing of teeth over the use of the word "ford" in a program sponsored by Chevrolet.

    So the script was changed with the minor revision that we will "cross" the river at something-something junction.

    My father still thinks it was an incredibly silly demand.

  2. We both know how sensitive some people are. I'm betting Chevrolet would not even care.

    Thanks for stopping by, Jim.