Public Editor

Readers' thoughts about The Star and

When a name is also a curse word

09/06/2013 4:29 PM

09/07/2013 5:02 PM

An emailer, the son of a former newspaper editor, posed a good question this afternoon:

“I could hear (my dad) saying, ‘Son, call down to the editor of the Thurdsay Weekend Preview and ask him to please explain the meaing of the entry on page 4, about coming events and what he means by the expression 'Fustercluck,' and could that be some kind of play on words for a certain well known cussword.”

There was indeed a listing for an event by that name — a chicken wing eating contest and blues festival. And yes, its name comes from exactly what you think it does.

There are other similar issues. There’s a popular touring band called Nashville Pussy. Its name has appeared in The Star several times, and it’s also a few times been referred to as “Nashville P.” And many other examples abound.

So what should The Star do? On one hand, I’ve long thought journalists shouldn’t avoid using words when they’re the crux of an issue. But you could also argue calendar listings are casual and unnecessary places for language that may offend.


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