9 Prim Ways the NY Times Avoided the Word “Poop” or the “S” Word in Article About Dog Poop

In a cleverly titled New York Times article called "As West Harlem Picks Up, Dog Owners Don't," the newspaper was its usual proper self when...

Maria Goodavage  |  Feb 21st 2012


In a cleverly titled New York Times article called “As West Harlem Picks Up, Dog Owners Don’t,” the newspaper was its usual proper self when it didn’t once use the word “poop,” “poo,” or of course, the S word. (The paper does use “poop” in quotations from others.) The article is about the gentrification of West Harlem, which ironically has come with lots of dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs.

When I read the article yesterday I noticed the lack of the word “poop,” because that’s my word of choice when writing about dog poop issues for Dogster. But then I happened to read a Gothamist article that observed in closer detail the pains the newspaper took to avoid the “s” word and other more common terms. Here are the prim alternatives:

dog dirt

nasty bit of business

curb-level scourge

renegade dog leavings

waste (5) / dog waste (2)

stuff (2)

what a dog has left behind

dog leavings

doggy-do

Hey, what do you call it? If you were writing for Dogster, what would be your term of choice? I love “dog dirt,” although I think that’s more of a British term. And I when I hear it, I don’t think of poop, but of the cloud of dirt and dust that surrounds Jake when he returns home from long days at the park. In that sense of it, I have dog dirt in the foyer all the time.

(Photo from NYCurbed.com)