posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 09:10 PM
With those who have spoken out against the right/privilege to use "taboo" language on the grounds that it is a sign of ignorance or lack of
intelligence, I am afraid I must respectfully disagree. Being a person of high intelligence (who also happens to use profanity sometimes in private
conversation) I can and must concede that while you are not WHOLLY RIGHT, there is some merit in your view.
It is true that sometimes people of lesser intelligence use profanity as a "replacement" when they can't come up with more
intelligent/accurate/whatever wording. However, it is my belief that this is more likely to happen within the context of a heated conversation or
debate. This actually brings things back to the OP('s real point) and back on topic.
It is trolling / argumentativeness / inflammatory-disrespectful speech that we should focus on moderating.
I understand that some would consider the existence or display of "profane" words themselves to be an act of disrespect. To this I would say,
respectfully, that in most of the real world adults are allowed to speak freely providing they do not incite crime / hate, just as adults are free to
make the choice to NOT listen to or read material that they find objectionable. That is what makes freedom so great, when it's practiced properly. No
one forces anyone to do anything they don't want to, nor restricts the free actions of others.... ah, if only reality were utopian, eh?
The censoring of "taboo" speech is a restriction of the free actions of others, whereas if free speech were allowed in all forms, you would STILL
have the choice to not look/read/listen, if you found it objectionable. Those who advocate censorship of profanity seem to value this, and one of the
most common (and probably best) arguments I have seen relates to the quality of material put forth by the potential potty-mouths. The theory being
that forums where profanity is allowed tend to attract a lower quality of member or otherwise encourage a lower quality of posting. Being fair, I must
concede to the fact that there seems to be SOME truth in this. I think this is actually partly a simple case of monkey-see, monkey-do. Most people in
most situations will modulate their speech patterns (to one degree or another) to more closely match that of the peer group, IME.
I have, however, seen forums where profanity is not expressly forbidden per the site's TOS, however, because of the quality of membership, users
tended to self regulate, and those who frequently used vulgar speech for no reason were given reminders, suggestions, and guided toward speaking in a
more mature and enlightened manner. I think that is really the right way to go.
Another factor is that some intelligent people who understand the power of taboo vocabulary will make infrequent but pointed use of some of these
powerful words, in illustrating points in civil debate or essay. I consider myself such a person. You may want to avoid SOME of my posts on other
sites. Sorry. Most of the time, highly intelligent and respectful people will NOT use vulgar vocabulary to outright insult others. The smartest of us
slippery, silver-tongued cunning linguists know that such words usually detract from the overall effect of a heated argument / flame-war, which are
almost ALWAYS won with pure wit-- not words of blunt, brute emotion.
On the other hand, a word like "retard" used in a derogatory fashion is inexcusably inflammatory in any civil discussion forum (save a "flame"
sub-forum, where they exist...)