The examples of unnecessary brackets in direct quotes keep coming. This one is especially noteworthy because it shows us how one quote can go in different directions.
Here’s the original quote from UNC basketball coach Roy Williams, promising to work his players hard after an ugly win against Nicholls State:
“They may be tired of me, but they’ll be a hell of a lot more tired of me after tomorrow.”
Here’s that quote in The News & Observer:
“They may be tired of me,” said an irritated Williams after his team allowed the Colonels to shoot 47.3 percent overall, and 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. “But they’ll be a [heck] of a lot more tired of me after tomorrow.”
Here it is in the Durham paper, The Herald-Sun:
“They may be tired of me, but they’ll be a hell of a lot more tired of me after [today].”
Thanks to brackets, N&O readers were spared the unpleasantness of seeing “hell” in print. Thanks to brackets, Herald-Sun readers were spared the trouble of figuring out what day it is.
My hunch is the readers could have dealt with these issues without the distracting doctoring of the Williams quote. If that hunch is wrong, a partial quote or paraphrase would have dodged those issues. After all, dodging is OK sometimes.