Is it ever okay to print the F word?

Who are we fooling? You know what these characters are trying to say to you. (Shutterstock)

Who are we fooling? You know what these characters are trying to say to you. (Shutterstock)


The media has not come to a consensus about society's most notorious four-letter words. Some cover up the offending letters with asterisks or dashes, others sub in euphemisms, and still others, more commonly in Europe, are explicit about their expletives.

Jesse Sheidlower, lexicographer and author of the recent New York Times op-ed piece The Case for Profanity in Print, argues that when foul words are relevant, the media should stop being "coy" and treat its audience like adults. He joins Jian to politely make the case for impolite language. 

Notes to the audience

Be forwarned: There are two P words in the Canadian version of this interview (the one posted here) that had to be cut out of our U.S. edition. Listener discretion is advised. 

(And for those of you throwing caution to the wind, here's a link tells the full story about swearing in the Senate, which was alluded to in the interview.) 

Over to you: Have times changed? Has all that internet and cable television viewing --- not to mention our current social reality -- made you okay with the use of profanities in your newspaper? Or would you rather not see the f-word in print?

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on reader replies)

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