Sunday, July 20, 2008

NYT's Medium Blog: Are All Morans Morons?

VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN, WRITER OF THE Medium blog on the New York Times site, ruminates this week on how a reporter should quote, and possibly edit, the incorrect — by turns inadvertent and deliberate — spelling, grammar, and usage one finds across interactive Internet writing.

This is no small matter, particularly among message board or blog communities in which English has evolved, or been guided, into clipped lingo for speed or irony. To an outsider, it can appear impenetrable. A non–poker player visiting the 2+2 message boards would need to visit the FAQ to decipher TPTK (top pair, top kicker), OESD (open-ended straight draw), or the all-important MHIG (my hand is good). And should we presume the user of the term moran to be a moron, a poor speller, or merely one delivering a zinger on an actual moron by quoting this spirited citizen?

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