It lives up to that description: it's a great read, and regularly updated too. How have I not known about it for so long?
Here is one example: a post about whether the excessive swearing in Deadwood was historically accurate. The writer, who loved the show, notes that it had the feel of the West down pat, but the swearing was not accurate. Amusingly, she writes:
It is hard for us today to imagine the shock value of words like damn and hell a century ago. Many contemporaries of Twain censored themselves thus: d—n, dang, dam, dadburn, blank, even text-messagey acronyms like D.O.G. (danged old galoot).And further:
In an illuminating essay entitled Deadwood and the English Language, Brad Benz quotes Nunberg (again) who writes that if the characters in Deadwood had sworn in a manner authentic to the period, they’d sound like Yosemite Sam. This is surely why Milch took the decision to sacrifice historical accuracy on the altar of dramatic license in this one aspect, in order to give us a sense of the barely subdued violence and rebelliousness of the people of Deadwood. I reckoned this meant that today’s F-word was equivalent to olden days’ D-word.
In the foreword of his book The F-Word, Jesse Sheidlower writes that the word f–k wasn’t even printed in the United States until 1926 in a WWI diary. Even then, it was not used as an expletive but rather in its verbal sense, for the act of intercourse.Well, that's odd then. Certainly by World War 2, at least amongst the British, it seems it was in common use as a swear word. (I cite Spike Milligan's autobiographies as authority for that.) I guess I would have to read the book lined above to find out how it came into common use.
The only instances of the F-word I have found from the 1860’s are in the Journals of Alfred Doten, where he uses the word in the verbal sense written in a code of his own devising. (The word appears as vcuk, not very opaque.) Doten and Twain were colleagues moving in exactly the same circles, so Twain must have known it. But Doten’s usage confirms that the F-word was NOT used as a swear word back then.
Anyway, there you go: I can object to the swearing in Deadwood not just on aesthetic grounds, but on the basis that it is historically inaccurate. Stupid writers.