Publisher: Penguin Books
Swearing in the English language has a long history that encompasses a rich variety of modes, including heroic oaths, sacred undertakings, profane and blasphemous curses, taboo insults charged with sexual and excremental “four-letter” words, competitive foul language, and racist “hate speech.” Tracing the history of this intriguing cultural phenomenon from its Anglo-Saxon traditions and those of the Middle Ages, through Shakespeare, the Enlightenment, and the Victorian Era to the Lady Chatterley's Lover trial and various current trends, Geoffrey Hughes explores a fascinating, little-discussed, yet irrepressible part of our linguistic heritage. This edition contains a new Postscript updating various contemporary developments, such as the growth of political correctness.
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