Dirty Words in Popular Woodworking Magazine
Reader Herb Wofford writes: With the downturn in the economy and prices going up I have been considering which woodworking magazine(s) I will have to for go. Until the latest issue, Popular Woodworking Magazine was not being considered, but now I will not renew my subscription.
Personally, I take offense to language that I consider inappropriate. And your editorial stating that you will do your %$##est and then to see in big bold letters the inappropriate use of the word for donkey made up my mind, along with the content and future content of the magazine.
I by no means have virgin ears. I spent four years in the military and worked around men and women who could use some of the foulest language, but I never thought it would show up in a magazine that I looked forward to receiving. I realize you were quoting someone in the back article, but did the word have to be so bold? I let my 12 year old grandson read these, and yes I am sure he hears these words at school. But you see, I am trying to set an example for him; you can communicate intelligently without using profanity.
I am 63 years old and my father is 87. To this day, I have never heard him say one cuss word, and he spent 21 years in the Army. He had enough respect for my mother that he would not allow her to come into where he worked for the foul language. And I might add, my children and my grandchildren have never heard me cuss; I do not.
My time with your magazine has been wonderful and rewarding. I will miss the excellent articles of making furniture. Should you in the future decide to go back to the original format and leave out offensive words, let me know for I will renew my subscription.
– Herb Wofford
Editor Christopher Schwarz responds: Sorry you felt that way. In the 13 years I’ve been here, that has been the one time we’ve used that word in print. (“End Grain,” April 2010, “Put Yer Ass Into It” by Roy Underhill.) I thought it was justified, germane and fairly mild compared to the language on television (not to mention the Internet).
We’re not changing our policy on language – that is, you won’t see it become a habit. But when presented with a story like the one Roy Underhill wrote, I thought it was appropriate.
Thank you for your letter.
– Christopher Schwarz