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From the fifth edition of Garner’s Modern English Usage, which was published in November by Oxford University Press.

profanity. For the definitive works, see John McWhorter, Nine Nasty Words (2021); Ashley Montagu, The Anatomy of Swearing (1967); and Geoffrey Hughes, Swearing: A Social History of Foul Language, Oaths and Profanity in English (1991). On the loss of taboo for sexual and excretory terms, see Robert S. Wachal, “Taboo Or Not Taboo: That Is The Question,” 77 Am. Speech 195–206 (2002). For practical guidance on reducing your swearing, see James V. O’Connor, Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing (2000). For practical guidance on increasing the variety and imaginativeness of your swearing, see Reinhold Aman, Opus Maledictorum: A Book of Bad Words (1996). Profanity is generally beyond the scope of this book.

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February 2023

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