Some swear words are still not OK at The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal now allows most bad words into direct quotes, according to the in-house style update published Tuesday.


...This doesn’t mean that it is a free-for-all. The guidelines also note that there still has to be a compelling reason to use the quotation, including giving insight into someone’s character. And judgment calls should still be made.

Editors made that call recently with quotes from Anthony Scaramucci.

This was in line with the guidelines that say that a few words still call for a Barney dash (named after a former editor at the Journal, Barney Calame): racial epithets, f— or f—ing and c— (vulgar slang, female anatomy).

As Poynter reported in August, the 2016 election did cause some news organizations to allow in more vulgarities. The issue came up again in October after President Trump's lewd conversation was caught on a hot mic during a taping of "Access Hollywood."

Our style, for what it's worth, is to allow vulgarities in stories and quotes, but we do use the Barney dash in headlines.


Related News

Email IconGroup 3Facebook IconLinkedIn IconsearchGroupTwitter IconGroup 2YouTube Icon