I recently saw a funny bit on replacing swearing with clean language. This reminded me of something that I experienced while teaching.
Years ago there was a philosophy major that was very blunt. When he thought someone was saying something stupid he would say something like this: “that was a stupid thing to say. What is wrong with your brain?”
Naturally, this upset the other students, especially the ones who were on the receiving end of his wrath. So, I had a talk with him. He did make a good point: “people often say stupid things and if they get away with that often enough…well, they keep on saying stupid things.”
But, it would not do to have him telling other students they are stupid. He asked me what professional philosophers said when someone said something stupid. I told him that I say “perhaps you should reconsider your position.”
As you might guess, the very next class someone said something he regarded as stupid. He turned around, smiled and said “perhaps you should reconsider your position.”