YE OLDE CURIOSITY SHOPPEExpletives deletedEditor's note: Each month we see lots of books. Some of the curious arrivals are featured in this space.
I don't remember why I started swearing, James V. O'Connor writes. But start he did, as he demonstrates in Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing. His avowed goal is to get American language out of the gutter, but to do so he rakes through a truckload of smelly gutterspeak. The result is quite an eyebrow-raising lexicon. O'Connor's mother may wash out his mouth with soap.
For example, he devotes a lot of space to a particular four-letter word, including exploring its likely etymology. For those who want to quit using the word (in any of the many ways he lists), O'Connor suggests alliterative replacements, including fool, fuss, futz, and fiddle. He also offers a rhyming alternative, a four-syllable word popular in rap songs.
Of course, I am dancing around the objectionable words themselves, because of BookPage's well-known commitment to clean living and family values. O'Connor is less timid. In fact, his crusade may be hampered by aspiring cussers who buy Cuss Control for creative suggestions. Oh, the irony.