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Do use of "profanities" hinder one's credibility/argument?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/30/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,298 times Debate No: 61091
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




This came to my mind after finding it is against the terms of service to use profane language on this site. - Does this really matter?

I do not imply insults. Insults and profanity or swear words are completely different things.

The Wikipedia definition [1] is what I will use. If you do not like that definition, please provide your own.

My argument is that the use of profane language should not only not offend someone if it is not used in the form of an insult, but it should not take away from any credibility one's argument holds.

First round for acceptance and brief opening argument.

I wish to take the "use of profane language is not prohibited" (not word for word) completely out of the ToS. It is restricting to disallow us to use every word in the English language if it is not directly offensive toward someone.

Good luck!



I accept your challenge Monsieur Homme, as do I accept your definition for "profanity." But I must confess; being a strong proponent of freedom of speech, myself, I certainly understand your distaste for censorship in all its forms. Indeed, I applaud you for it! So it was with some hesitance that I accepted this debate.

But given our agreed upon definition, and in light of the common digital platform we now share, I believe it would be a mistake to alter the terms of service for to allow the use of profanity.... even if it isn't deemed to be insulting. I look forward to hearing you expound on your arguments; I look forward to the decision of the judges on this interesting topic; and most of all, I look forward to us both exploring the issues that surrounds, and balances, what I already know is a valuable human freedom for us both.
Debate Round No. 1


Glad to have you on board, and I'm happy we're on the same page. It's always fun debating against something you believe in.

Because I have made this five rounds, I will present my main argument here, and you can dispute it in the next round and present anything you wish from there on.

I don't like the term "swear words." I much prefer "emotional words," as that's exactly what they are. They put emphasis and emotion on what you are talking about.

Ex; "I am so scared!" Is a lot different than saying "I am so f**king scared!" Although the exact same idea has gotten across, one has more emphasis. Guess which one?

To deem the "extra" word I used a "bad" word is... shall I say... bullsh*t? There's another example. If I had said "to deem that word 'bad' is annoying," or something along those lines, most people would simply say (if they agree) "ah, yes, it is." But because I used a "swear" word, more peoples' attention has been grabbed, because it's a slightly uncommon word, and is recognized as being different than any other word in the English language. Instead of simply "oh yes, I agree," most people would say "wow, he really feels strongly about this." Indicating I'm not just spouting words out my face, I'm actually putting some emotion into it.

Now, what makes these words "bad"? ...Seriously, what? The idea that when they were first invented, they were primarily used to describe "negative," or more "mature" things, such as poopoo, or sexual intercourse? Well as far as I know, there's nothing wrong with maturity, and there is nothing wrong with sex. As well as nothing wrong with faeces. To associate something with it could be disrespectful, but not in my example at all. It's a good adjective. If you disagree, then why is it okay to say poo? Or faeces? Or even sometimes crap? But all of a sudden, sh*t, whoa, no need to be rude! - Even though it's the exact same meaning.

We also need to understand that definitions change over time. My favourite example is the word literal.

Literally now means the exact opposite of literally. [1] [2]

So to say the word f**k should still and always be treated as a "mature," or "bad" word, (and not be possible to change the definition) is not only denying cultures and societies from changing and redeveloping or growing, but it is also very possible, as we can see from the exact reversal of the term "literal."

These terms (when used in general, not against anyone negatively or in a disrespectful way) are not offensive or rude or bad in any way. They were brought into existence as something bad. Society has changed. More people are adapting to these words. More people (like myself) are referring to these words as "emotional words," as they put emotion or emphasis on the subject at hand instead of demonizing it.

Which is the main reason as to why I believe one's arguments should not lose any credit if their argument contains all the words of the dictionary. Because they feel strongly about a subject and wish to portray that does not signify lack of intelligence either. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

I'm looking forward to a good debate!




You make some excellent, and very accurate, arguments, Man. So much so that I am apt to use them myself! But first, I must confess for a second time.

I am a high school English teacher. And as you can imagine, this type of issue often appears. The teenage years are a time when kids are more likely to, shall I say, 'venture beyond the linguistic constraints of their parents,' and begin to experiment with the dreaded and feared "bad word." As a teacher, I certainly want to encourage my students to express themselves in the most effective/affective manner possible. And having worked in private industry before becoming a teacher, I, as well, am guilty of more than a few well-placed explicative, to get my point across. In spite of this or, perhaps more accurately, because of this, I believe it is best to conform to society's rules of appropriate d"cor regarding language.

To refute your points:
"Ex; "I am so scared!" Is a lot different than saying "I am so f**king scared!" Although the exact same idea has gotten across, one has more emphasis. Guess which one?"

You are very correct!! The second statement shows more emotion and emphasis than the first! It's amazing that you did so with a mere couple of asterisks, and thus avoided saying a profanity, violating the ToS, and all the while maintaining your intent! You give a good example of how we can still say what we mean, without resorting to profanity.

Your second statement, I equally agree:
"To deem the "extra" word I used a "bad" word is... shall I say... bullsh*t?"

You are exactly correct-- there is no such thing as a "bad word." We all may have thoughts, some evil, perverse, or hateful, and the "bad" word is merely the messenger of that emotion. However, what I like to teach is that there is no such a thing as a "bad word;" just inappropriate, and less effective, ones. And in your case, you give another perfect example of a more effective way to express yourself. Your use of the word "bullsh*..." was a good use of irony, given the topic of debate. It communicated that you are clever, humorous, and yet still able to maneuver within the bounds of decorum. It proved to be a better method of communicating, rather than if you simply spelled out the word entirely. This word-skill of yours is not to be dismissed. Writing greats, such as Shakespeare, Voltaire, Swift, among others, were well-known for their ability to 'skirt' the rules regarding appropriateness. Had they simply resorted to crassness and vulgarity, I can almost certainly guarantee that people such as I would not be discussing them in today's high schools.

As there is much to discuss here, and still a few rounds to go, I wish to end this round with just one more comment on the above post, I do, however, intend to pick-up on some of the other points you made in later rounds, as well as address any new points you wish to make.

"We also need to understand that definitions change over time. My favourite example is the word literal."

As you seem to be making a habit of being correct, I'd like to add a little more to this point. As the denotative meaning of words change throughout time, so do the societal rules on their use. What was once a "bad word" may indeed someday become a term of endearment! But more than likely, society will find new words, yet invented, to deem as "wrong," thus simply replacing them. If I had to make a prediction, I would say that many of the words that violate the rules of society will someday be allowed. But it will not be a political decision, nor a societal decision; it will be a linguistic decision. Profanity is rampant in society, and is especially assessable on the internet. This is likely to continue. But as it does, so will the connotative meaning of such words. They will lose their "shock-value," and thus the emotional response behind them. And when those words no longer garner the "attention" the speaker seeks, he/she is simply dismissed as uneducated, boorish, and uncouth. Compare this to a person who effectively speaks and writes within the constraints of decorum. To him/her language is a challenge by which we are continually improving. Whereas profanity can lose its power, wit and effective communication never goes out of style.
Debate Round No. 2


I see what you mean, that if we normalized words that are currently known as expletives, they wouldn't necessarily be considered expletives anymore. However, that wouldn't stop them from being emotional or powerful words.

In my last year of high school, I took a couple AP Philosophy and Psychology classes. The teachers of those two classes were the only ones that allowed use of "expletives" in the class. After the whole year, still hearing those words incorporated into "non-explicit" sentences still put heavy emphasis on the ideas. And of course after I graduated, "swearing" became a lot more normal within my friend groups, but once again, after two years, it still hits the nail on the head when someone uses an expletive to add emphasis to their thought.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but it seems as though you're being a bit sarcastic? Can't really tell over simple text. However I'm sure you would agree if I didn't have to use the asterisks, my idea would be even more emphasized.

Thanks. This goes to show that using every word in the dictionary is not a bad thing at all, and makes sense to incorporate it in thoughts or sentences. You can see that I was being funny, while using an apparently "offensive" word, while not being offensive at all.

To say profanity will/can lose its power, shock value, or emotional response is just an idea. It may, sure. It hasn't thus far. And there is also nothing wrong with that happening. If we allow words like f**k in everyday life, like you said, new "profane" words will most likely arise. But it would take a long time to get used to the previous profane words. They are still strong words, and with society growing around these words being considered expletives, if we were to all of a sudden say the exact opposite of that, it would take a while to revert back to those words being normal, or turning them into normal words.

And as you can see, it takes centuries for words to change definition -


"To say profanity will/can lose its power, shock value, or emotional response is just an idea. It may, sure. It hasn't thus far....And as you can see, it takes centuries for words to change definition "

Having lived as long as I have, I have noticed a marked decrease in the effect of profane words. You have to remember that it wasn't but a generation ago that the word "pregnant" couldn't be spoken on national television (1). Can you imagine the reaction if someone dared to utter the "f" word?? Now, it's hard to find a movie that doesn't use profanity. Today, it's 'no-big-deal' to throw in a GD, Sh..., or f..... The shock-value has definitely decreased.

Actually words and their meanings can change very rapidly. It wasn't but a few years ago when "text" was a noun! You are misinterpreting your link when you claim that it proofs that it takes a long time for the denotative (the dictionary definition) meaning of a word to change. Although a word may have one definition for centuries, it's meaning may actually change over the course of a couple of years. That doesn't mean it takes centuries for a definition to change-- where each year it is slightly altered, or each year one more person used it in a different way. It means that within a few years, it changed rapidly. And that's the denotative meaning-- the connotative meaning behind words (the emotional response of a word) changes even faster. If you had called someone a "communist" in the 60's it could be taken as a badge of honor. Today, at least in American politics, it's an insult. When I was young, the polite term for a person of color was "Colored," or "Negro." What kind of reaction do you suppose I would get if I used those terms today in common conversation? The connotative meaning behind these words have changed. Would it be wise to stick to my previous language use, or comply with the unwritten rules of discourse?

Similarly, the use of profanity breaks the rules of proper communication. Yes, it is true that it is silly to call any word a "bad word." However, you cannot escape the fact that some words are offensive to some people, crude, or vulgar-- the very definition of "profanity." (2) Although you may try to qualify your use of profanity by adding the stipulation "I do not imply insults," the truth is that "insult" is in the eye of the insulted. And in case you haven't noticed, some people are rather thin-skinned these days. The fact that there are places where profanity is banned, is evidence that enough people do see its use as insulting. And unless your purpose is to offend someone, the use of profanity is ineffective communication.

Surely you must admit that the use of profanity is not the only way to add emphasis to a point? The English language contains over a quarter of a million words, only a handful of which that cannot pass the scrutiny of rules against profanity. There are a majority of adjectives that are more meaningful than the simple use of an explicative. How much more meaning or emphasis is given if I called a situation "horrendous," rather than saying, "That's f***up?" Or if I said "I find that idea repulsive," versus, "F.... that!" When Cleopatra said "Oh happy horse to bear the weight of Marc Anthony" would it have been more effective to say, "I'd like to f.... Marc Anthony?" To me a person that continually injects profanity into a conversation shows a lack of imagination and concise language use. At its best, profanity is a cheap trick to get an immediate reaction--- and depending on the receiver of it, it may not be the reaction you intended.

We need rules against profanity, at least in most venues. In addition to challenging us to expand our vocabulary and become more concise communicators, it demonstrates respect for those hearing the message. Whether you agree or not, people attach opinions of those using vulgar language. Sure, it may seem "bullsh...t" to you, or even I for that matter, but it is an inescapable truth. Forcing people to deal with your choice of words and demanding, or even expecting, that they w find you credible, is much like saying "I should treat you any way I want, and you must still like me." It is an unreasonable expectation.

Within the context of friends or associates you trust, the use of profanity may be acceptable, or even smiled upon. However, close relationships imply that you already know their feelings about such words. You may even know of some words that aren't considered "profanity" but you choose not to use them because some friends find offense in them. But because many forums don't have that type of intimate knowledge, they must make judgments on proper decorum. And as the definition of profanity is based upon a "general" understanding, those words deemed 'no-no's' are offensive to most people.

The bottom line is to find the best word to describe an idea or feeling, so that its meaning is duplicated in the receiver's mind. With so many appropriate words available, that comply to social standards, why risk a "bad" one?

Debate Round No. 3


You have a good point, and I do agree to an extent, but if society is becoming so lenient with profanity, why is it not in children's' movies? You (usually) have to be 13 or 14 to get into a movie that uses occasional profane words, implying it still isn't acceptable. The shock value had gone down ever so slightly, but that still has really nothing to do with our topic, that it should or shouldn't hinder one's credibility. We seem to have gone off on a separate branch here.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your stance is still that the use of profanities hinder one's credibility/argument, correct? It just seems as though we're totally abandoning that statement.

Oh I don't deny the idea that the definitions of words can change rapidly, I agree with you. What I was saying before is that it can take centuries for definitions to change.

Yes! That is the main argument I use when arguing that profanities do hinder one's argument. So thank you. But... even if someone takes a word as an insult, or offensive, or profane, it does not hinder their argument. If I say 1+1 is 3, and you say 1+1 is f**king 2... is your argument completely gone because you used a word that I didn't like? No. Even if I do directly insult you in an argument, my argument is not any less credible. My conduct has gone out the window, and I am being disrespectful, but does that really take away from my argument? Of course if I resort to insults, it does, but I'm not even talking about insults. If someone chooses to be offended by a word that is not intended to be offensive, my argument is not gone. My argument hasn't changed. If anything, their perspective of my conduct has changed, and maybe they feel offended, but hey... that has nothing to do with my argument's credibility.

I am not saying the use of profanity is the only way to add emphasis to a point. I agree with your statement. My argument is that the use of profanity (in a non-insulting way) should not hinder one's argument. If I had the exact same words but threw a few f**king and GD's in there, would I have any less of an argument? Absolutely not. You may be offended, but you taking offense to what I say still has nothing to do with how credible my argument is. However I agree that resorting to insults does take away from the credibility, I'm not talking about resorting to anything, I'm talking about just using language deemed "profane."

For someone to (in my opinion) irrationally take offense to a word shouldn't have anything to do with my argument. However I agree that there should be unwritten rules in place to ensure people's mental and physical well-being. This should be regarding words that the majority of people take offense to. I know very few people who actually take offense to "profane" words. Lots of people can get upset of take offense to anything, does that mean we should restrict usage of it? And, not trying to be repetitive, but this also really doesn't have much to do with the idea that it takes away from one's argument. If I said 1+1 was 2, then I shot someone, is my argument still valid? Yes, there is just a dead person now.

Although the general understanding of those words are "no-no's", this does not mean the general public will take offense to them. I know the general understanding of these words are "profane," but this does not mean I will take offense to them, and it does not mean I will throw someone's argument out the window if they use the words in their argument. Most mature adults (and even teenagers) will not take offense to these words.

Your last statement got me. That's a pretty good question. However, what I say and what words I use and how much I offend the person I'm debating or just talking to, really has nothing to do with my argument. They could leave because they're uncomfortable, but that simply means that my words affect their argument, as it caused them to leave because they couldn't handle words that weren't even meant to be offensive in the first place.

As you can see, [1] everything is offensive. Should we ban the word "female"?



Lol. Yes, I guess we did get off-track! And yet I am tempted to pick up on your statement that " I know very few people who actually take offense to profane words" as evidence that counters your statement about the impact, or 'shock-value' of profanity. I will resist, as it really doesn't address the specific topic of debate. This issue is indeed rather complex, with many facets to uncover. You selected a very good topic to debate, Man. That is what drew me to it! But I will try to stick to the specific question under discussion:

"Does the use of profanity hinder one's credibility/argument?" Well, I think the answer to that is obvious-- for a majority of people it does, as the definition of 'profanity' refers to a "general" perception that those words are offensive, and it is human nature to dismiss the opinions of those in whom we find offense. I will discuss this in length momentarily. But I think your greater question is whether the use of profanity SHOULD reduce the credibility of a person's arguments. On that question I think we are close to agreement. A critical mind should always focus on the 'facts' of an argument. However, an argument always includes messages that extend beyond fact. And those also should be kept in mind when we try to measure "credibility."

When we try to ascertain the credibility of an argument, we consider many factors that extend beyond the accuracy of facts. If a 5' 7" man weighing 300lbs. tries to make an argument for the value of a high-carb diet, he can present a very accurate argument on the importance of carbohydrates in one's daily intake. However, it would not have the same impact if the same facts were presented by a more physically fit speaker. Similarly, an argument on abortion or female rights would be more credible if it is given by a woman, rather than a male. Someone who has a long series of letters following their name--- Ph.D, FACS, CPA, etc.--- are generally given more credibility than that of a 'layman.' Living in the South, I am often amazed by the bias that Northerners hold when it comes to dialect and evaluating credibility. Even HOW a speaker delivers an argument -- their non-verbal facial expressions, body movement, or tone, and whether those support and enhance their 'facts,' will influence the credibility from the audience. I would love to see a toothpaste commercial that presented case-studies, documented results, and x-ray evidence that supported their argument, that theirs was the most effective toothpaste on the market... and at the end, the narrator of the commercial smiles at the camera and reveals a mouth full of broken, crooked, teeth!

All of these examples show that there is more to "credibility" than evidence and facts. And many times, what we don't say, says it all. We use background, appearances, dialects, and delivery to add to our measurement of credibility. Similarly, the use of profanity sends a non-verbal message. To many it says that the speaker is uneducated or uncouth. It shows that the speaker/writer holds little concern for the feelings of the audience and their sense of propriety. Perhaps, it may send the message that the speaker is overcome with emotion, and thus unable to think in rational terms. In all of these cases, the audience is justifiable in reducing the credibility of the profaner, and thus his/her argument.

The very definition of profanity requires that we distinguish between acceptable and non-acceptable discourse. We are trained from a young age that some words are not proper, and because of this, profanity will always contain non-verbal messages that will diminish the credibility of the speaker. Yes, I could certainly teach a student that 1+1=effing2, but that student is well aware of the possible alternative messages I may be sending: "This teacher thinks I'm stupid!" "This teacher is mad at me!" "This teacher is 'effing crazy!" As a result, I would be less likely to teach that student that mx+b=c, because the student has less respect, and thus credibility, for me.

Credibility is determined by many factors. Much of which precedes the presentation of facts and stats. You are to be commended in your ability to shed prejudices and bias against word choice and dialect whenever you evaluate the accuracy of facts. This is the evidence of a critical mind, an attribute for which I hope we all aspire! But the effectiveness of an argument requires more than just facts. As critical thinkers, we realize that any fact supporting one idea, may be negated by a future fact, as yet uncovered. So we are forced to make decisions based on more than facts. Whether we agree or not, people will infer the credibility of an argument based on the perception of the deliverer of the argument.
And yes, this is influenced by the use of profanity.

I have truly enjoyed this debate, MisterMan. I look forward to your closing statement, and thank you for your cordial, well-reasoned, arguments.
Debate Round No. 4


Thanks for bringing us back on track!

You're correct, I meant should the use hinder one's argument, thank you. You're right, an argument is dealing with either facts or opinions, and to disregard either because of someone's presentation is ridiculous.

You have amazing points, and really have made me think about this. However, I have one main argument against that - words do not relate to a lifestyle, or argument. You want someone who works on teeth to have good teeth, just like you want someone who gives you good tips on how to maintain a healthy body to actually have a healthy body. But can you relate speech to anything? More specifically, can you relate words to anything? Everyone (assuming they can speak) uses words to communicate.

- A dentist uses words, would you think he isn't a good dentist or he lacks knowledge if he explains how he's going to "get rid of that big f**king cavity?" If my dentist said that to me, I'd laugh and actually feel closer to him, as when people use words like that, it's (a lot of the time, like you said before) with someone they trust, who are friends with. It wouldn't affect my views on his skill level, but it would strengthen our relationship, something that I find to be important with doctors or physicians, etc.

- An athletic instructor is meant to encourage you to push yourself, and if he uses "profanities," it gives emphasis, once again, to his routine and his emotion and you (most of the time) would work harder because he's emphasizing everything with his language. Swearing can bring excitement to the conversation or activity. "YEAH LET'S F**KING PUMP IT, HOLY SH*T" is more likely to encourage someone to actually F**KING PUMP IT than saying "alright, you can do this, let's go!" Although both give the same message, and to some it wouldn't change anything, a lot of the time, it would raise the adrenaline level in the person hearing it.

However both those examples are off topic! I'm talking about in an argument! This is harder to stay on topic than I thought.

If someone is arguing about medicine or medical practice, having a PhD at the end of their title will (most of the time) bring a bias for them right off the bat. But what if they swear? "We're just a clever visual metaphor used to personify the abstract concept of thought." That sounds pretty... intelligent, right? What if I were to say "We're just a GD clever visual metaphor used to personify the abstract concept of a f**king thought"? Saying it in person would obviously have more emphasis, but you get what I mean by the second example (with profanities) would most likely cause some people to go "oh wow" or actually feel the emotion behind the statement. Both sentences get the exact same message across, said by a (hypothetical) guy with a PhD.

A common misconception if that people who use profanities are uneducated or uncouth. Some of the smartest, most intelligent people I know use profanities, and are quite polite and respectful. The one thing I can sort of agree with is that profanities can be used as simple filler, such as "like," "um," "uh," etc, which can lead to people presuming a lack of intelligence. However, once again, this should not hinder one's argument. I can be the dumbest sack of beans (could have said something else, which probably would have had more emphasis...) and present a very strong argument, backed up with facts. "The uhhh... the Sun is ummm.... GD, it's a big a*s star, holy sh*t and stuff!" Has the exact same conclusion as someone who say "the Sun is a big star." You sound less intelligent, but you still presented the same fact as someone who is "known" to be intelligent. If you were to take out the "uhh's" and "umm's," it would sound like a regular sentence, but with more emotion. Instead of presenting a fact, you present a fact with emphasis and emotion. It would take an easily offended, naive or even arrogant person to reduce the credibility of that statement because they heard some "bad" words.

If nobody taught anyone that some words were "bad," we wouldn't have any problems like you mentioned. We still wouldn't insult people, but nobody would be insulted because they heard a word.

Presentation is a big part in presenting an argument, I agree. But who dictates whether or not language affects the presentation? It would make sense to say that because certain language was used, the argument has more merit, as the person presenting it added emphasis and emotion to their argument. If someone chooses to dismiss their argument, or not give it the credibility it "deserves," that is their bias against language and certain words that affects the argument, not the use of certain words by the opposing party.

I have really enjoyed this debate too, I'm glad you were the one to accept it. You've provided very good points and have made me think a lot about this. You haven't changed my mind! But you have given me several good reasons as to why some people may consider profanity to be a reason to take away credibility from an argument.

This has been a pretty f**king good debate. Cheers.


In my conclusion I would like to focus on a point you just made, in its entirety, as I feel it is the crucial issue of this topic. Like all things in our debate, it may seem to be a bit off-topic. But as we both have learned, this debate involves so much more than simple "cussing." Language is truly a wonderful device, used to help, hurt, teach, persuade, entertain, as well as serve as the primary tool to form personal relationships. So please bear with me....

"Presentation is a big part in presenting an argument, I agree. But who dictates whether or not language affects the presentation? It would make sense to say that because certain language was used, the argument has more merit, as the person presenting it added emphasis and emotion to their argument. If someone chooses to dismiss their argument, or not give it the credibility it "deserves," that is their bias against language and certain words that affects the argument, not the use of certain words by the opposing party."

Every instance of communication begins with one common element -- a NEED.
This need may take infinite forms. I communicate with my students because I have a need to teach them the tools that will help them throughout their lives. Alternatively, If I am fortunate, they will communicate with me based on their need to learn. We may communicate to persuade someone to think like we do. Or we may have a need for them to do something for us. We may even have a need for them to stop doing something! We may communicate a joke out of the need to be seen as witty, clever, or simply funny. Even when we engage in something as trivial as small-talk, it stems from the basic human need to connect with another human being in an effort to establish some sort of relationship. So I say all of this to help you understand that whenever we talk we do so out of a specific need-- i.e. we have a GOAL. And how well we communicate will determine whether we reach this goal and satisfy our needs.

When you asked the question "who dictates whether or not language affects the presentation" you asked the most important question in this debate! But before I answer that question I would like for you to reflect on my previous paragraph and answer one of my own questions "who is the one most in need??"

My argument is that it is the initiator of a communicative instance that is most in need. The receiver of his/her message is the supplier of that need, and as such they are the ones who hold all of the cards. Why should they care whether or not you reach your goal? They aren't the one in need! Because of this, the onerous of conforming to a set of standards falls upon the initiating speaker of the message. It is the receiver of the message (the one who has what you want) who gets to SET the standard! They are the ones who get to do the "dictating."

Man, you are very correct when you state that it is "their bias." And certainly we could both argue until we are blue in the face that it is wrong for them to hold such silly biases. I agree with you, it is unfair! Just as I believe that it is unfair for people in Massachusetts to assume someone who speaks with a Southern accent is ignorant. Just as it is unfair for a Black politician to have to avoid a Black dialect in order to get elected in a country with a White majority. And yet, I will quickly drop my Texas slang whenever I go home to Maryland. And Barrack Obama will give his major speeches in a "Caucasian dialect" as long as he appears (to quote his Vice-President) "clean and articulate" to the American public. We do these things not because we believe it's "right;" we do it because we understand that it is effective. This same principle applies to the use of profanity.

Should people allow the use of profanity to influence the credibility of an argument? I can only speak for myself on this question. To me it's like asking "should men prefer blondes over brunettes, or big busted women over skinny women" It really comes down to individual likes and dislikes. Therefore, I am hardly in a position to say whether a person other than myself should hold a bias against those who use profanity. You and I may not mind a little explicative to liven a conversation. But as we have established, "profanity" is, by definition, vulgar or offensive to the general public. And as we both can admit, offending someone is hardly an effective way to get a need filled. So we conform in order to be more effective. And that, my friend, is the bottom line.

You are an awesome debater, Mister Man. And no matter the outcome of the judges, I want you to keep in mind that as I am a teacher of language, I had a tremendous advantage in this debate. You have proven yourself an equal in my eyes. It has been a great pleasure to meet you, and even greater to debate you.

Let the judging begin!
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Mr.Grace 3 years ago
Thanks Shield! Just knowing that you enjoyed it, made it worth the time. I have to say that if MisterMan and I ever joined forces.... we'd kick *ss!
Posted by Mister_Man 3 years ago
And may I say Mr. Grace was great to debate with, and presented amazing arguments in an entertaining and reasonable manner. Thanks again for a great debate!
Posted by Mister_Man 3 years ago
I really appreciate it Shield, I had a lot of fun debating with Mr.Grace, and I hope I can again in the future, he really got me thinking! Glad I also made you laugh, that was my secondary goal haha
Posted by Shield 3 years ago
That was probably the most fantastic (or f**king fantastic?) debate I have read on this website. Mister_man, your Round 2 argument had me laughing aloud. And Mr.Grace, your Round 5 argument was exceptionally concise and packed together like the perfect ending to a movie. You both provided amazingly coherent and persuasive arguments. Every time I read the next argument, I sided with the giver of the argument. It was literally (and I mean literally in the modern sense!) the best back-and-forth ever. Lol. I wasn't sure who to agree with before the debate, and I still don't know now. I think it really depends on the situation and circumstances, as to whether or not the use of profanity hinders credibility or argument. You both presented both possible situations very clearly and were able to illustrate your stories in my mind. You both had immaculate conduct. Mr.Grace, your writing style is superb, but I can hardly say Mister_Man's wasn't. Mister_Man is a fantastic comical writer. I was convinced by both of you, and I feel as if I now have two of myself, with each one of myselves agreeing with the other of you. It saddens me that I have not yet finished 3 debates to be able to vote on this! I see there are 11 days left, so hopefully I will be able to do so by then. At this time, I will not be making any statements as to whom had the more reliable sources. Great job guys! I will surely be thinking about this debate for some time.
Posted by Mr.Grace 3 years ago
Wow! That was a good debate!
I'm not going to vote on this one Mister Man. You have a well deserved record, and I felt like I had an unfair advantage on this one, lol. Originally, I was just trying to get my third debate in so that I could judge other debates, as I'm hoping to get some of my students to sign up here and use this forum for class projects, so I will need to be able to judge them. However, once we started exchanging ideas I really became involved in it! I hope others pick up on this debate as I think it is worth reading. I have to admit that I am kinda interested in whether I presented a convincing case.

Hope to see you around Man. Take care my friend!
Posted by Mister_Man 3 years ago
Good to know haha thanks... I think we should put quotations around "complying" though, everyone knows what I'm saying lol.
Posted by Mr.Grace 3 years ago
BTW Mister Man, I wasn't being sarcastic! You did a very good job at presenting your arguments! But keep in mind.... you did so while still complying with the ToS. ; - )
Posted by Mister_Man 3 years ago
Once it's over you can!
Posted by codegrey 3 years ago
this debate looks vote in it if i could.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by kasmic 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Excellent debate! valid points on both sides. Pro gets most convincing argument as I am convinced that "a person who effectively speaks and writes within the constraints of decorum" deserves credibility and "profanity can lose its power, wit and effective communication never goes out of style." well done both of you!