How To Stay Sane Running A Magazine

Jun 29 2012 @ 12:49pm

A dispatch from the hallowed halls of The New Yorker:

I did not know at the time that there was an informal contest going on at the magazine to see which writer could get the most instances of "fuck" into print, and that Sanneh was going head to head with David Remnick for the title. (You can’t write about rappers or boxers without quoting a few obscenities.) Ian Frazier gets a very satisfying ratio of profanity to regular speech in the monologues of his Cursing Mommy: "Somebody please tell me I have not lost my stupid goddam fucking drink." This week, John McPhee writes about his battle to quote sailors saying exactly what sailors say, a battle that he did not win—at least not in The New Yorker of William Shawn or Bob Gottlieb. But he broke new ground in this piece by using "fuck"—as verb, noun, adjective, and interjection—fourteen times in a single paragraph.