We chortle today at the number of "ejaculations" in Sherlock Holmes stories, and laugh at how old newspaper stories describe the "erection" of skyscrapers. But previous generations would snicker just as hard at us. A look at archaic slang shows that we say a lot of very suggestive things without knowing it.
Every culture has its swear words, nasty and highly offensive terms that pack a powerful punch when we're not in polite company. But many of our swear words have diminished in potency over time, a sure sign of their ever-changing nature. Here's how you can expect to be swearing in the future.
"Scumbag," sounds like the kind of hokey insult that would get you laughed at if you used it. When it was used in a New York Times, it got protests from some older readers, because once upon a time it meant "a used condom." Think about every time you've seen Batman refer, in children's cartoon, to criminals as scum,…