When I was younger I didn't swear. At all. Didn't even say "damn." And by younger, I mean up until I started college. People who know me now (or saw *King Ubu*) may find that hard to believe, but it's true. My parents did not swear in my presence, and I had been drilled that English was vast enough that anything worth saying could be articulated without the need for such words. My mother is still deeply allergic to them. This verbal puritanism is the origin of all the strange old-fashioned exclamations (drawn mostly from Looney Tunes of the 40's and 50's) I use to this day, but ultimately could not stand against my fascination and deep love of the full range of language.
Freshman year, I was in our school's production of Christmas Carol, I played one of the gentleman who come to ask Scrooge to donate to a charity for the poor (the origin of the "Are there no workhouses?" line). I was paired with Ken Paulman (he was the tall skinny one, I was fat one), who could not believe what a naive little WASP I was. He took pains to try to corrupt me (in a good way) and part of that was debates about language. Well, debates might be giving the conversations too much credit, but ultimately he won the argument. So I went from there, to eventually directing a play about Lenny Bruce, to where I am today, which is thinking that curse words are an incredibly versatile, useful, and expressive part of language and that this article is a fascinating and very funny bit of lexicography that I want to try to find a way to put an example of into a show: