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Trying to decide if you should publish that dirty word? Here’s a step-by-step guide
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With recent discussions surrounding the use of profanity in publishing, spelling out words in full instead of substituting asterisks for letters when spelling out such words, Roy Peter Clark looks at how to decide whether to follow suit or not for Poynter. His method of deciding, based on The Potter Box model created by Ralph B. Potter to support ethical decision-making, includes four quadrants – level of profanity, news value, social context, and standards and practices. It works by rating the word (or words) in question-based around these four factors and gives publishers a better idea of whether certain words will cause upset if spelled out in full, or whether nobody will bat an eyelid.

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