Monday, November 12, 2007

Aposiopesis redux

I wish the New York Times would for once and for all abandon its coy policy of eliding words unsuitable for publication in a family newspaper. Several book titles in recent years have made the policy seem unsustainable (I am thinking in particular of Harry Frankfurt's On Bullshit and Nick Flynn's Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, both of which received multiple mentions in the paper). Integral to the Light Reading sensibility is the notion that coyness should be avoided at all costs--it is second only to whimsy on my list of undesirables...


  1. I suppose a full-blown _Light Reading Manifesto_ would be contrary to the spirit of the enterprise....

  2. Jenny, this is a running theme over at Language Log -- they call it Taboo Avoidance. Examples range from the Gray Lady to anthropologists in Papua New Guinea, dropping in often on various cartoons.

  3. I kind of liked not knowing, imagining what the name might be. (I just looked it up, alas.)