Oct 13, 2008
Shopsin Style and Style-Guide
from The Way We Eat -- Flipping the Bird by Christine Muhlke, NYTimes, 9 October 2008
...after 28 years behind the stove, Shopsin wants only to cook for people he likes. “I’m not a very mature person,” he says after a lunch shift, his white hair kept at bay by an appropriately McEnroesque headband.
“Sometimes my mind works a bit too fast, and I come to the conclusion of a relationship with customers faster than they get there. The abruptness of my understanding the essence of what’s happening is really upsetting to them and makes them vindictive and angry.” (One man, refused service at the original Bedford Street grocery-turned-restaurant, ripped a toilet out of the floor.)
I love this article for several reasons. Muhlke manages to tell two of Shopsin's stories (the restaurant and the book) and one of her own in a few sharp paragraphs. And I do so like the way she writes. Add to that, the article employs two different means of showing a quotation where part of the quote is deleted or changed.
“We kick [expletive] out. Regularly.” Up to three times a day.
I waited weeks to tell Shopsin, who softened and got borderline misty for a second before bellowing: “I’m glad you didn’t tell me. I would’ve kicked the” you-know-what “out.”
I've never seen the second option done before, at least not in an instance where it seems that few words were being changed. Interesting.
More of my struggle -- I wasn't sure of a best (or even very good) way to "quotate" those two items, above. I think I should buy a journalism textbook. Even if it doesn't explicitly explain how to quote quotes from other texts, I suspect it would have examples of just that.
BTW, I've just remembered to follow up to one of Valerie's comments on quotes within quotes, at this old post.