I got interested [courtesy of Instapundit] in Eugene Volokh's criticism of Slate's "Bushism" transcript quote, mainly because I deal all the time with stenographic transcripts. You know, depositions and such.
So I called a friend who is a court reporter/stenographer, and asked for an opinion of the "offending" transcription. My friend's response: stenographers often use their judgment when there is a misstatement or "space marker" in a particular bit of testimony. Thus, if a word is cut off, or if the speaker says "uh," the stenographer often will cut the blip, if it does not appear to be substantively significant. I can say that such non-substantive cuts are done routinely, in almost every deposition transcript I have ever read.
My review of the president's statement suggests -- to me -- that cutting the following: "the c--" changes the substance of his statement not one whit. My friend agrees, and concludes with the comment that whoever is wasting their time criticizing the corrected transcript should "get a job, because he needs to be doing something important."
I agree, especially because I have just spent 45 minutes thinking about this, talking to my friend, and posting this comment. I guess I'm one of those people to whom my friend was referring.
UPDATE: I fixed the two grammatical errors correctly identified by the commenter. I'm embarassed by them, especially because I hate it when writers wrongly switch off "there" and "their." My only explanation is that I was posting in a hurry, and Blogger is not the easiest interface for proofing. Apologies to all, and thanks to the commenter for pointing out the goofs.