' they arouse the attention of the listener because swear words have this automatic access to primitive parts of our brain. It's a way of forcing your listener to pay attention – kind of a cheap way, but for many people an irresistible way.'
'Sometimes it's just a way of impressing on your listener the emotional reaction you have to something.'
Quoted from http://www.Thestar.Com/life/2007/11/08/the_way_we_swear_says_a_lot.Html
If we all just decided to quit taking offense these words would all just be words. It's the people who insist that it's important to worry about profanity that are causing it to continue to exist in the first place. Otherwise a$$ would just be a synonymous term for the butt (and slang term of social criticism) that originated as a word for donkey, a$$hole would be a nonprofane term of social criticism that metaphorically relates a person to a certain part of the body. The f word would just be a verb that means "to have sex", and maybe people could start more candidly discussing sex instead of being ashamed of a perfectly natural human activity, and as well it's a term of social criticism (i.E. "f u") or emphasis ("that's f'in cool"). Granted in time people would not bother using these terms anymore except in their literal senses if people decided they were no longer ashamed of a natural part of the human body, although the more positive expressions of the f word like "f'in cool" might remain.
Granted these words tend to also prove absolutely nothing but neither do rhetorical questions or really anything said that is void of empirical value but that can be pointed out if a person is trying to persuade with all style and no substance. And regardless people will use pseudoprofanity i.E. F#ck, b!Tc%, cu@t...
There's no point in taking offense at patterns of sounds that people make with their mouths or representations thereof made up of a series of symbols like we find on the internet.
Some debates on the site do have a profane nature in them, especially ones regarding sexual topics, and having to speak as though we were all politicians does limit our freedom to talk about certain topics that aren't actually about politics. Perhaps extreme overuse could be stopped, but sometimes going through an entire £*$%ing speech to find it turns out that a$$hole is an overly profane word can be frustrating to the point were one would be driven to speak in profanities.
Why is it necessary to use profanity in modern day language to begin with? We use it as a means to express disrespect, discontentment, and otherwise informal use. In a formal debate setting, it should be deemed inappropriate to use profanity as it is an unprofessional and unnecessary means to communicate. If you were in a job interview, would you swear and cuss as you gave your answers? NO! Because you are in a formal setting, where you are trying to CONVINCE SOMEONE that you are right. Strangely similar to debating huh?
Every year, the OED removes words from its dictionary. Too many good words die every day because we refuse to stray from the tried and true. What happened to the road less traveled by? Will you allow our language to be reduced even further? You can show emotion through clever use of punctuation and descriptive words! Do not let our language be reduced to Newspeak because you're fond of calling someone a female dog when arguing their opinion!
Profanity does not put forward ideas, and unless the debate is about profanity itself, it should not be acceptable. Debates should be respectful exchanges of ideas, not to people yelling at eachother through bullhorns. I cannot think of anything that can be gained by allowing profanity, and i can imagine a slippery slope leading to all sorts of unsavory language usage that will impair the ability of debaters to get their ideas across.
Debating is about positive use of language and using language to portray ideas. Profanity cleans language and uses offence to portray opinions. I personally find all swearing very offensive and it turns me off the conversation and the person straight away. We don't want to turn people off so they don't want to debate.
I block people on Facebook who swear in their posts. One reason I just joined this group is because I like the rules and the civil discourse. If you want to swear go somewhere else and do it. There are plenty of places where that is already allowed. This is a place for higher level expression.