Wall Street trading floors are not known for decorum. But it is striking how often a particular profanity turns up in those internal e-mails that become public after markets crash.

This month, court papers revealed that in August 2006, Nicholas Smith, a vice president at Bear Stearns, had referred to SACO 2006-8, a pool of mortgage loans that the firm was securitizing, as a "sack of" manure. But he used a four-letter synonym for manure, and not the one that rhymes with "slap."

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