I plan to write a longer post to this question early next week (my parents are here, I had to read a 350-page dissertation, and the CSUWP post-institute meeting is today, so I'm maxed out).
In short, though, I've been intrigued by the way that the term "civil discourse" and the concept of civility has been invoked repeatedly in the past couple of weeks in light of the University of Florida event with the taser and the Rocky Mountain Collegian editorial by J. David McSwane. Interestingly, though, neither concept is ever defined by the university presidents, editors, and letter writers who use it. I've taken this to mean that they assume their listeners and readers understand it as a shared value in our culture.
So I've been doing a lot of digging for basic definitions of "civil discourse" as these appear in etymological roots, dictionary definitions, definitions posted in blogs, and so forth. My question for you, then, is how would you define the term "civil discourse"?