Fixing quotes

In an August 12 column, Deborah Howell, ombudsman at the Washington Post, compares and contrasts two version of a Redskins football player’s quote published in the paper, one of which was grammatically “cleaned up” and the other printed verbatim, as the basis for a review of the paper’s quotes policy. The issue was so divisive among both staff members and readers that she followed it up with a second column, concluding that “It boils down to this: Be honest with readers. That’s what Post policy requires. But it doesn’t mean reporters need to put every “huh” or “ya know” into a quote or to embarrass someone whose English skills are sparse.”