Well, the people have spoken. Swear words will remain censored in The Haldimand Press for the foreseeable future. We received two letters in response to my column, both of which are shown below; as you can see, they are in agreement that the words should remain censored. In addition, I received a couple of emails from readers/colleagues.
The first one said that I was brave to write the column – which, I have to admit, had me a more than a little concerned how other people might react to it. She added that while she agreed Meghan Patrick had to put the heckler in his place, she does hate “that word”. The second email I received was in a similar vein that we had the “right balance” in our reporting of the incident, noting that the full swear words could be jarring and detract from the overall article. He added that he appreciates my affinity for language and the little history I included on swear words. Fun fact from this reader: the word “nice” originally meant “stupid”. He told me about two books by author Bill Bryson – The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way (1990) and Made in America (1994). I thought I’d share these titles with our readers for anyone else with an interest in learning more about the history of the English language.
So, all in all, we had four votes for censoring and no voices speaking up to put it all out there. While this hasn’t changed my personal opinion on swear words, it is good to know where we are at as a community because, ultimately, this isn’t just my paper or Jillian’s, it’s Haldimand’s paper.
Thank you to everyone who sent in their thoughts.