The Finer Points of Street Grammar: Ho's, Hoes, or Hos?
UPDATE: For more NB posts on Imus, click here.
Just to give our readers a look at how fastidiously accurate we are at the MRC, we've been having a bit of an in-house debate about the proper spelling for the nominative plural for "ho," as in the street slang for whore. Yes, news is stranger than fiction, and we only have Don Imus's "nappy-headed hos (?)" remark to blame for this journalistic quandary.
My colleague Matt Balan and I have combed the Web to see how different news orgs handle it and we found no consensus:
- UPI uses "ho's": "Imus last week described Rutgers University's women's basketball team as 'nappy-headed ho's.' Imus also apologized for the comment during his talk show."
- Associated Press uses "hos": "Radio host Don Imus, suspended for two weeks for calling the Rutgers female basketball players 'nappy-headed hos,' called the punishment appropriate Tuesday but stressed, 'I am not a racist.'
- LA Times uses "hoes": "Radio provocateur Don Imus apologized Friday for referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as 'some nappy-headed hoes' on a broadcast of his syndicated radio show 'Imus in the Morning,' which also airs live on MSNBC."
- Gregory Moore at BlackAthlete.net also uses "hoes."
We at NewsBusters typically follow Associated Press Style and since the AP wire is going with "hos," that probably will be the default for any future posts, for what that's worth.
In the meantime, for more examples, you'll just have to follow Rosie O's advice and "Google it!"
UPDATE 2 (April 11 | 12:40 EDT): A word of thanks to Greg Gutfeld of Fox News Channel's "Red Eye," who linked to this post on his "Daily Gut" blog and discussed the matter during the Imus-related segment of his April 11 program.