I'm just discovering this Slate defense of the word "sucks," and I agree with him. The word just doesn't have an obscene meaning to people born in my generation and possibly even before. It does, as he says, get less obscene each day.
I used it in a college newspaper article when I was a senior (in a quote, mind you! a quote from a rabbi, no less!) and was stunned when it caused a bit of a stir. First off, he said it (which he admitted). Secondly, he said it in a good-humored manner, while laughing, about his class, who all laughed with him. And finally, it just never, ever occurred to me that it was considered profane. To me it was on a par with "stinks," about as innocent as could be.
I also roll my eyes when there's a journalism scandal about a newspaper that uses a word everyone's forgotten the real meaning of. Recently someone printed "scumbag," and people had to dust off ye olde reference books to point out that "scumbag" originally meant "condom." Yeah, and "paddy wagon" was a slur against we Irish folks, but I'm hardly offended by that, faith an' begorrah.