I’ve never accidentally dropped something heavy on my foot and yelled out “Darn!”
Nor, during moments of triumph or joy, have I ever exclaimed “Frick yes” or “That’s what I’m fudging talking about!”
I swear. Sometimes I speak in fragments. I use slang. When I recount a funny story that happened to me over the weekend, I don’t do it in clean paragraphs with a strong lead, a minimum of three quotes and input from experts on both sides of the issue.
It’s become clear, though, that plenty of people take great offense to the occasional swearing that happens in this column. Here is a sampling of the kind of emails I get each week:
“We also learned and shocked to read you throwing profanity into your stories. That is pretty much the epitome of amateurism and immaturity.”
“Last week avowed feminist Sara Libby reminisced about first meeting Caty Green whom she recalled labeling a ‘bitch.’ Totally unacceptable.”
So I figured it might be time to explain why this happens. (For those of you worried specifically about poor Caty, fear not – she loved it.)
One of the things I treasure the most about working at Voice of San Diego is our priority on making news accessible. Complex stories become even harder to understand when they’re written in Very Serious Newspeak. I’m constantly imploring reporters to write the way they talk.
The way I talk includes some swearing. There are plenty of places in which I censor myself or internally police my language to conform to an outside standard – but why should my own newsletter be one of those places?
I’ll wrap this up with a quote from an NPR story this week that I really treasured. It’s from another “avowed feminist,” a real boss.
When told her Harvard classmates’ nickname for her was “bitch,” future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg coolly responded: “Better bitch than mouse.”
What VOSD Learned This Week
This week saw yet another nail in the coffin for a convadium – a split convention center expansion downtown. A new study gave Mayor Kevin Faulconer the push he needed to support taking a tax to voters to expand the Convention Center in one place, at the existing facility along the bayfront.
That would make moving downtown truly off the table for the Chargers. In the meantime, the city is moving forward with its plan for the stadium the Chargers don’t want – one on the existing Qualcomm site. In its application for an expedited CEQA review process, the city says it will buy expensive carbon offsets to make the project environmentally friendly. And though Faulconer and co. played up Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins’ role in helping secure that expedited CEQA review, it turns out she didn’t do all that much on that front.
But it might not have been the end. As Andy Keatts and Scott Lewis speculate in the podcast, the positives about a split convention center outlined in that report might prove to win over the city. Maybe the mayor and others just have to play out the bigger box idea for a while longer?
Seems the U-T editorial board is thinking something like that too.
Here’s our most-read for the week.
What Else VOSD Learned
• A City Heights family roughed up by police inside their own business has filed suit against the city.
• Transit advocates wish a new SANDAG policy to encourage smart growth had some muscle behind it.
• Poway Unified’s superintendent toned down criticisms in a harsh report before releasing it.
• The Culture Report is baaaaaaaaaaaack.
• Trash haulers are fighting an effort to untangle the web of trash trucks criss-crossing the city every week.
What I’m Reading
• RIP, the American lawn. (The Atlantic)
• Chef Dora Charles, who cooked for years under Paula Deen – sometimes making as little as $10 an hour – steps out from under the TV personality’s shadow. (New York Times)
• An important investigation into whether The Donald cheats at golf. (Washington Post)
• The charade that is surprise military family reunions at NFL games. (Deadspin)
• Janell Ross makes a strong case for why saying “Cops’ lives matter” is both true and yet fundamentally misses the point. (Washington Post)
• I’m guessing things aren’t going to end well for this 15-year-old being bred for the NFL. (New Jersey Star-Ledger)
Line of the Week
“Well, contrary to public belief, I don’t like the sound of diarrhea” – from an AV Club interview with the creator of the TV show “Drunk History” on his hatred of the song “Hey Soul Sister.” It is as delightful as any piece can be while comparing stuff to diarrhea.