Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Give me your thoughts on "turd"

In my most recent "Check it Out" column, I used the word "turd" to describe the fat guy with spiky hair in the new "Dukes of Hazzard" cell phone commercial. The executive editor of The Post-Crescent recieved an e-mail from a reader who objected to my "turd" usage, noting that he could "easily remember when a statement like this in a community newspaper would have made jaws drop." The reader didn't say he was offended, he just wished I could "express (my) opinion in a more adult manner."

To be honest, I'm not sure I disagree with this reader, especially when I think about my executive editor trying to defend my turd usage. I guess you could say I have turd regret.

What are your thoughts on this? Is turd out of bounds? Am I, in fact, the one who is a turd?


Anonymous mark said...

i once saw a bumper sticker that said in reference to the 2004 presidential election... "don't blame me, I voted for turd sandwich"

it had a nice cartoon of a turd between to slices of wheat bread.

i think there are many many words that when singled out of any column or article or song or whatever that really are indefensible when taken out of context, or even in context.

But i think they're fine to use. turd is barely mildly offensive and perfect for the context that you used it. I could write your executive editor and tell him how much i loved it.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

make that *two slices...

i just read my comment. some day i will learn to edit what i say/write... even go as far as reading it to make sure it makes some sense... someday

4:54 PM  
Anonymous mark, again said...


that's an article in today's chronicle... it uses the word or a derivative of the word 'poop' 11 times.

'turd' did not appear in the article.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

I think it is more socially acceptable to be called "turd" than excrement.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mark -- i read that story. i must say "poop" is easier to stomach than "turd." i say that because their textures are quite different. (turd is rough, poop is smooth, like you didn't know that.)
but i also agree with sharon that calling the guy "human excrement" probably would have been worse than calling him a turd.

so steve: i think you should stay away from waste products, period. you should call future turds "dorks." it's naughtly, because dork is slang for "penis," but no one knows that or seems to care. so you still get to be a badass (oops, turd (oops, dork)), while pleasing all the bluehairs who read your ceasing-to-be-relevant form of media. you can remain incredibly rad cool -- and not give a sh*t.

your biggest fan

12:42 PM  
Anonymous mark.... said...

i agree. poop is what 4 and 5 year olds say. although, it'd be hilarious to hear them saying turd instead...

back to that article though...


This guy delibrately chose to use the word poop. he could have used turd, excrement, feces... he used poop. i think despite the texture and 4 yr old vernacular it's tantamount to turd.. i'm going to get to the bottom of this.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous mark. said...

and here's my interpretation of the bottom... from the chronicle.

"Your search for turd returned 7 articles from the past year"

"Your search for poop returned 45 articles from the past year"

"Your search for excrement returned 29 articles from the past year"

"Your search for feces returned 41 articles from the past year"

and finally...

"Your search for dork returned 38 articles from the past year"

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the meaning of life, mark, is that old people think the word "poop" is funny. at the same time, they're not offended to hear it. it goes along with your 4yo theory: if grandbaby bobby says he poop-ed his pants, everyone goes "awwww...." if he says he laid a turd in his jeans, grandpa frowns and grandma bursts into tears.

ergo, newspaper writers -- who tend to cater to their main audience, grandparents -- almost always go for the cutesy and funny and not-really-offensive word "poop." they get a cheap laugh and no one bitches to the executive editor. it's also why you might read the phrase "passed gas" but you rarely hear "farted" or "beefed" or "damn near turded his pants."

2:55 PM  
Blogger road apples said...

I think you readers have covered all there is to cover concering the appropriate use of the offending word in question. I will not lower myself to repeat said word. Just let me say this; the dog just shit on my new oriental rug and if he does it again, I am going to kill the little fucker.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have caused quite a turd controversy.

2:18 PM  

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