Dan Barrett tips me to The Hollywood Reporter’s oral history of M*A*S*H, and in particular I have to give a shout-out to something said by writer Ken Levine.
Levine: Every week we got the same note, “Cut the casual profanity in half.” If we wanted eight hells and damns we’d put 16 into the script. We tried to slip one by when we had Radar say to a visiting general, “Your tent is ready your VIP-ness.” We got caught.
Literally, I keep meaning to write about this in the contexts of both entertainment and politics: the machine always will want to have its say, so never try to out-think it and ask for less in the hopes it will credit you for preemptively addressing its concerns.
Always, always push for what you want — if not, as in the above, for even more — so that after the machine has its say you might still be close to what you actually wanted.