Languagehat links to a hilarious and yet oh-so-informative essay that's primarily about the use of the word fuck -- and it makes me wonder whether there's (more) serious scholarship on this sort of thing. "Bad words" have got to be one of the most functional, versatile, and creative areas of language, and here we have a fascinating essay -- but hidden behind weird pseudonyms and apparently published on somebody's personal website. It's not that I don't find these deceptive pleasures entertaining or ironic; but they make it too easy not to take this sort of thing seriously. Maybe there's a literature on this that I just don't know about?
UPDATE: A reader points out that the Quang Phuc Dong piece above is from the late 60s, which probably makes my musings above a bit moot... but of course it's still worth taking a look at the piece itself.