What an adjective!

If you’ve been on the internet this afternoon—and not under a rock or something—I’m sure you’ve by now seen the news (and I use that word loosely) that the Vice President was caught on an open-mic dropping the F-bomb to his boss at the White House’s health care signing ceremony. (If you want to see and hear the clip, Mediaite has a pretty clear version.)

The New York Times, a family newspaper, described the event with a winning and surely half-winking circumlocution:

At the end of his introduction of the president, Mr. Biden, who is well known for ad-libbing to the point of getting him in a little trouble, turned to Mr. Obama, embraced him and elaborated on the historic nature of the day.

“Mr. President, this is a big … deal,” he said, adding an adjective between big and deal, that begins with ‘f.’

Well done! This is not the first time I’ve been impressed with the Times’s efforts to avoid said adjective.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.