Hi, Ian, Ransom Note editor here. How's tricks? Every now and then I think about putting together a style guide for new R$N contributors, just a little set of presentation rules so we can at least maintain the illusion of sanity across the site. Imagine my delight when it turned out the job had been done for me :) Today an email written by Sunday Sport editor Nick Appleyard made it online (courtesy of Guido Fawkes), an email where Appleyard broke down - quite specifically - the intricate ins and outs of how to swear properly in a national 'newspaper'. Aside from the priceless rhetorical question 'who the hell puts a hyphen in bellend?', Appleyard's email offers an illuminating insight into just what is too smutty to make a headline in 2014. Essentially, shit is fine, wank isn't. Who knew? Here's the email in full:
From: Nick Appleyard
Sent: 23 July 2014 12:14
Subject: Style Guide
I know I’ve been going on about this for ages but it seems many of you have still not got the message.
We need to be consistent with the spelling and grammar of words and phrases used in Sunday Sport. When they constantly differ (often in the same story) we look sloppy and unprofessional.
For example, last Sunday (July 20) one sub editor came up with the headline: MAN LOSES B*LLOCKS BUT DOCS SAVE HIS BELL-END!
When I saw that page I felt physically sick. There are TWO glaring errors in the above headline that every member of editorial staff should spot straight away. Bollocks is NOT censored, even in headlines, and who the hell puts a hyphen in bellend? I won’t name names but you know who you are and you should go back to school.
To avoid any further confusion (and future disciplinaries) I have listed below the commonest bungles. Please print them off and stick them by your computer screen.
SHIT: Full out in copy and in headlines
FUCK: F**k in copy and in headlines
Hunt: C**t in copy and headlines
WANK: Full out in copy, w**k in headlines
TWAT: Full out in copy, tw*t in headlines
COCK: Full out in copy and in headlines
BOLLOCKS: Full out in copy and in headlines
BELLEND: One word, full out in copy and headlines
Can this please be the end of it? I hate to be formal but I’m getting sick of repeating the same things on a weekly basis.
Otherwise, keep up the good work.
Sunday Sport Editor