Lately, I've been running into a lot of distasteful language and behaviour. I'd like to take part of /General chat and submit it with my ticket. Is there a way to do so?
No, there is not. However SWTOR's Customer Service team absolutely has access to chat logs and all you need to do is report:
The names of the players involved may also be helpful. I have logged reports in this way that have been acted upon — BioWare does not disclose any actions they take against players, but one player I reported happened to be in my guild (unfortunately) so I knew he got banned since he was MIA for a week and complained about it afterward.
This is basically summarized in their support system:
However, as noted in the comments there is a profanity filter for you to use if you don't want to see profanity. Reporting "swear words" won't result in any action being taken.
There is an option in your preferences to filter and convert most swears into stars. This option is available under Preferences --> Game Tab --> Chat section --> Filter Profanity.
There are creative ways around that, as you had mentioned, but there isn't much that can be done about that. Unfortunately, there will always be undesirable elements when you are online; there is no way around it. The best you can do is mitigate it.
Another option would be to leave General chat entirely; that option is in the same area, called General chat. That will limit your exposure to profanity from the general population.
Profanity in general isn't really actionable; it's distasteful, yes, but it's everyone's right to express themselves within the rules set out by the creator, and the Rules of Conduct only mention that profanity is not acceptable within their forums.
As for harassment :
From SWTOR's Rules of Conduct:
I have bolded the relevant section; reporting harassment is not actionable unless it is directed at you or your party. Just because you find something offensive does not automatically mean it is actionable. Like the policy states, an attempt to resolve the situation must be made prior to submitting a ticket; oftentimes a statement might offend you, when the person making the statement had no intention of it doing so. This is a very common occurrence online, where all we have to judge intent is the words themselves.
In the event that you are submitting a ticket, it's a good idea to mention the following details:
This will allow Customer Support to spend the least amount of time combing through their logs for the information. I doubt being able to copy from chat would be useful; customer service would still have to go through their chat logs to ensure accuracy and the proper context for the statements is known. That will allow the best chance for a fair and impartial decision to be made.