Books: Horrible Oaths

THE LOST ART OF PROFANITY (223 pp.)—Burges Johnson—Bobbs-Merrill ($2.50).

Burges Johnson is dissatisfied with American profanity and hopes for an enrichment of all its forms: the oath denunciatory, the oath asseverative, the oath interjectional, the malediction. His argument is a little too mechanically playful, but it is well illustrated and has some grains of sense. Henry L. Mencken (The American Language) contributes an approving foreword, remarking, among other things, that:

"We have lately seen the heroes of a great moral war march home with a repertory of invective almost tragically thin and banal....

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