I am personally not at all offended by profanity. Well, okay, if someone let loose with a string of particularly gratuitous and hardcore expletives, I would probably be put off (the keyword here being "gratuitous"). See George Carlin's The Seven Words You Can't Say on TV. If it's not completely obvious, the link contains profanity.
If an expletive is part of a quote a poster has deemed necessary for explaining their question, that is probably not going to offend me.
However, if others are or might be offended, I personally don't mind making the extra effort to make others' experience at the site more comfortable by masking the profanity in a canon quote. Yes, I could expect people to just deal with profanity as it comes up, but I don't feel like my need to quote "f**k" is greater than someone else's need to not feel uncomfortable. Some people really really dislike profanity and if I have the choice of not upsetting others, I'm going to err on that side.
What I don't like is the idea of someone pre-emptively editing a post and changing its content "before it gets flagged as offensive". I don't agree with this practice and I don't want to see it become the norm. If it were my post this happened to, I would likely roll it back if it had indeed not yet been flagged.
Pre-emptively editing a post that has not been flagged strikes me as kind of a roundabout way of someone expressing their own disapproval of profanity while claiming the changes are under the guise of the community's greater good. Extending the benefit of the doubt that the editor was genuinely trying to be helpful -- I can appreciate the sentiment, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I don't support censoring profanity, because one person's "d##n" is another person's "m#####f#####". I think it would be fruitless and needlessly exhausting for the community to try and decide upon and compile a list of words that are and aren't allowable. The debate would never end. Some words that are considered quite offensive in one country are fine or have a totally innocuous meaning in another.
Here's five options that any user could utilize:
- Include profanity in canon quotes without any censoring.
- Don't include profanity-laced canon quotes.
- Don't include profanity from a canon quote unless it is
specifically related to the question being posed.
Utilize asterisks: d##n, s##t, f##k, etc. And, yes. I realize those are pound/number signs. Asterisks actually were a nightmare, because they just wanted to italicize and bold each other like whoa. So, a symbol of your choice, I'll say.
Utilize the spoilers tag to mask profanity.
These are merely a few suggestions -- I'm sure there are infinitely more ways to work with profanity, that more creative minds than mine will come up with. ETA: I very much agree with Gilles's answer. Very much agree with it. I wanted to clarify that when I spoke about taking steps to avoiding upsetting other community users, I was speaking only for myself. I don't mind doing a few things here and there. I wasn't suggesting we try and make some kind of community policy on policing profanity.
We'll need a "Clutching Pearls" badge now.
And before you downvote me for the Bloody Hell picture, please know that it was originally an animated .gif. At least I had the courtesy to change it to a .jpg. :D