If Swearing in Public Becomes Illegal, Who Wants to Be Legal?

cursingSalty sailors and cursing cads would do well to avoid Middleborough, Massachusetts from here on out. It's that or pack their wallets with $20 bills. That's now the price people who swear in public in the small town near Boston will have to pay. Puts a whole new twist on the cuss jar, doesn't it?

The town ban on public profanity has actually been in existence since the late '60s, but it just became a lightning rod for free speech debate thanks to an addition of an actual fine for dropping an F-bomb on the street. But all the Mass-holes ready to go to blows over their right to blaspheme are forgetting something.


We may have freedom of speech in America, but that doesn't mean we have freedom from the consequences of that speech. Think about it. You can use a racial slur, and I can write you off for doing it. For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction, folks.

Of course an actual fine is different from someone passing judgment, not least because it's something coming from the government. I'll admit I'm not a constitutional law expert, and the Middleborough swearing fine may not hold up in court.

But I can't help it, I'm kind of in love with the idea of the law -- at the very least. The folks in Middleborough say it was really meant to cut down on the salty language coming from teens in their parks. I'm no pearl clutching puritan. If I stub my toe, "shoot" just doesn't cut it.

But I get it. There's nothing like having to explain to your 6-year-old what a "c--t" is because some jackwagon with saggy pants and his baseball cap on sideways just said it in front of her.

Even as an adult, it's a little grating to be out enjoying the sunshine, only to have your daydreams interrupted by a string of expletives. If I wanted to hear that, I'd stay home and watch an old episode of The Sopranos, thankyouverymuch. A good swear word now and then is useful, satisfying even. Unfortunately, with profanity, there is too much of a good thing, and the limit in polite company is set pretty low.

A law might not be the best way to cut down on the cursing in public. But something has to get the point across goshdarnit. These jerks are ruining the occasional @ss for the rest of us!

What do you think should be done about public profanity? Should swearing be illegal or is it a right?


Image via GranniesKitchen/Flicker

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