Nunberg's book, "Ascent of the A-Word," follows a**hole from its invention by WWII GIs to today, where the word has become a "basic term that a lot of us use all the time in our emotional and moral lives, for example when somebody cuts us off on the highway."
In fact, Nunberg says words from the 1940s -- like the A-word -- are more likely to survive then words invented in the '90s. "You'd think more of the older words would be obsolete now, but no."
More words are being invented now than ever before -- partly because of easy and fast communication on the interwebs. "But the more words that are produced increases the competition," says Nunberg. There's a kind of process of natural selection.
The words that survive often "become signs of important social movements or changes," he says.
The loser words will die -- never to be spoken again by countless mouths of future generations.
Hey little yolo, if you're reading this, you better find some new friends. And fast. If you know what's good for ya.