Leothebear wrote:They could simply ask the question - "Would the BBC allow it?"
Unfortunately, the answer nowadays would always be "Yes".
I think there's a very big difference between what might be called conversational swearing and seeing it written down. It's also extremely dependent on context. With friends, colleagues and some clients I quite enjoy having a good swear, but it's limited to those people and there's a sort of unwritten agreement that it's between consenting adults.
I'm pretty sure that none of us would ever normally swear in a situation where it might be expected to upset other people, and I would never assume that it was OK to swear in front of someone I didn't know. I have to say that I find other people swearing in public places where it's not readily expected pretty offensive, and I expect many others do, as well.
Being of `that' generation I also generally avoid swearing in front of women. I know that an increasing number of women do swear, often more readily and frequently than many men, but although I don't mind it with women I know (though it's still fairly rare) I'm still mildly shocked when I hear it from women I don't know.
I still also avoid swearing in front of children, though it seems that it's now commonplace amongst children, far more than it ever was when I was a child, no doubt because they're exposed to it so much more, both at home, at school and in the media. Ironically, nowadays it's far more likely that I'd be shocked than the child!
I do, of course, realise that such differential attitudes are indefensible, but they're ingrained in my upbringing, and I doubt I'll live long enough to accept such swearing without inwardly wincing.
But to allow swearing to be used on these boards would be quite wrong. I hardly ever swear if I'm writing to someone, other than, maybe, in the context of a joke. This extends to both emails and text messages, and I very rarely see it in written communications from other people. Swearing somehow loses its impact when written down, and just looks rather ugly, and a bit desperate, as though the writer is really trying too hard.
After all, the main use of swearing in conversation is as a filler or for emphasis, and it's very often a substitute for articulacy, used by people who lack the vocabulary to convey their point effectively. But unlike a verbal sentence one has all the time in the world to compose a written sentence, so swearing rather loses its raison d'être.
So no, please do not
allow swearing to be used. Apart from the practical difficulties for the poor mods, who would have the burden of censorship added to their already onerous duties, it adds nothing of worth at all and would simply coarsen the `conversation' carried on here.