The Wall Street Journal Now Allows Most Vulgarities if They’re in a Quote

Standards evolve, including The Wall Street Journal’s treatment of  bad words. As you might have noticed, we now allow the printing of most vulgarities if they are in direct quotations and our news judgment is that the quotation is important to include because it gives insight into how the person communicates, his or her depth of feeling on a subject, or character. Thus, an executive referring to a “shit storm” or a politician (guess who) vowing to “bomb the shit” out of Islamic State’s oil operations.

We should continue to use vulgarities quite sparingly and only in direct quotes, not in our own voice.

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