Please, cut the [expletive]s

What the [expletive]!

I’ve been trying to follow Dr. Frank’s [expletive] trial.

It’s a pain in the [expletive] understanding the witness testimony though. For anyone who’s read the [expletive] Compass articles covering the trial you know what I’m [expletive] talking about.

If you haven’t read any of the Compass coverage here’s an excerpt from Friday’s piece that should give an indication as to why I’m a little confused, ‘Mr. Barnett saw PC Douglas Melville and his partner Cornelius Van Zyn talking to McField and heard McField say to them ‘[expletive] you. [expletive] you [expletive].”

Humm.

I understand that decorum prevents the Compass from printing the foul language allegedly used by Dr. Frank when he was arrested at a police roadblock set up at the scene of a fatal car crash. But central to the prosecution’s case is this alleged verbal abuse so not knowing exactly what was said at the trial presents a problem for those of us trying to determine what we believe really happened that night.

Taking the above testimony and filling in the blanks could be done with a fair degree of confidence for the first two expletives, but the third could be any number of things.

While I don’t envy the Compass’ rather uncomfortable position of reporting witness testimony of this nature, it does have a duty to be as accurate as possible and the use of [expletive] in place of the actual unprintable words leaves too much uncertainty.

I would suggest that as an alternative to [expletive], the Compass could print just the first and last letters of the offensive word with meaningless symbols in place of the other letters. For example the last [expletive] in the above testimony which I image to be could be written like this, d?#k head.

It’s unfortunate that the Compass has been put in such an awkward position.

The real tragedy however is that a civic leader, former MLA and Cabinet Minister is on trial for these alleged offenses.

That’s a [expletive] shame.

Gregory S. McTaggart

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