Jerks these days throw the a-word around like an overplayed One Direction song so often that the vulgar profanity has lost its 60 years of glory. Why, when I was your age, we called each other cads, bounders, heels; “asshole” was just for that one special person in life. Regardless of who it’s applied to—Todd Akin or the driver that cut you off this morning—we can all agree the word has earned its rightful place in the dictionary. Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg’s Ascent of the A-Word explains the colorful history of this indispensable curse. Insults aside, let’s all be wiseasses and discuss the true definition of America’s favorite seven-lettered word on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Book Passage. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. 1pm. 415.927.0960.