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When he retired in 1987, his “not for us” philosophy and ban on the word “motherf**ker” went with him.
When we adopt profanity into our writing, however, it is quickly labeled as unnecessary or employed purely for sensational purposes.
Among the more puerile treatments of the issue in publication is blanket omission.
Classrooms stayed mostly “s**t”-free, though admittedly my heart once stopped after I was caught dropping an F-bomb in Industrial Tech (the horror! I remember being chastened for a while after that, sitting quietly at the lunch table as bursts of vulgarity lit up the lunch room – the main proving ground for dirty mouths – like fireworks light a disappearing twilight.
Things carried on that way for most of middle school: profanity in common practice, but still evoking pangs of childish guilt in my heart.
I'm just about to submit a piece, but it has profanity and I'm not sure if I should change it for submission.
So I was seeing if Teen Ink has policies on profanity, and lo and behold I find this!I would like to reference this article in a paper on net neutrality, specifically the second sentence.What is the convention on profanity in American academic papers, especially with respect to quotes?It is a part of the way people speak today – tied as much to friendly (if sometimes off-color) jokes and good company as to the thrill of impropriety or desire to ride “the edge.” Adults, teens, young kids – the pencil-line between who can cuss and who can’t is being increasingly smudged by thick fingers.Limiting profanity to “protect” the young, impressionable minds of the Teen Ink audience is futile.I hope this matter will be placed under your consideration.Sincerely yours, Colin Editors’ response: Colin, you make a very well-put and convincing argument.This is not an argument against censorship, because I do not believe censorship is the issue.I respect Teen Ink’s right to filter its content, and appreciate that it manages to operate with a great degree of efficiency for those who enjoy its services.Still, what I hope is that the mandate to block profanity is not sacrosanct.The editorial and supervising staff of Teen Ink should remain in continuous conversation on what is and isn’t acceptable so the publication can better represent the parlance, and thus the reality, of its contributors.