If you pass by a lady who is standing on a busy sidewalk and staring upwards, it probably doesn’t mean much. She might be stretching her neck or watching a butterfly. If you pass by a crowd of twenty people all avidly gazing upwards, it probably means that something is happening up there.
If one person invests in a crypto-currency it’s hardly worth noting, but if ten thousand do it’s a trend that should be understood. If three or four companies depart a high-tax state for one in which taxes are low, politicians might ignore it. But if hundreds move each year, it would be sheer folly for state leaders to ignore the trend.
If every individual picked his own profanity, swear word, or obscenity, there’d be little to discuss. But if millions of speakers over many centuries confine their verbal vulgarities to mostly three categories, discovering why could be valuable. It turns out that almost all dirty dialect and putrid patter revolve around the bathroom function of defecation, the sexual function of copulation, and God. I discuss a number of reasons for this in my audio CD on the topic, but I’d like to look at an additional explanation.