Public swearing outlawed in US town

2012-06-13 14:06

Middleborough - Lobbing F-bombs and other curses across the leafy streets of Middleborough, Massachusetts is now an offense punishable by a $20 ticket.

The ordinance outlawing public swearing, approved by town residents on Monday night, was the brainchild of Mimi DuPhily, a member of the town's beautification committee.

She pushed for the law after becoming upset over loud swearing by teenagers hanging around the small town about 80km south of Boston.

"We're not talking about just conversation but screaming it across the street," DuPhily, aged 63, a former selectman, said in an interview on Tuesday.

"Dropping F-bombs and so on. It was the same group of kids. It was very irresponsible behaviour, and it was getting out of hand."

The ordinance does not specify which curses are banned, and police can decide whether to ticket offenders.

"It does not affect you if you are sitting at a café," said DuPhily. "It only affects you if you are verbally abusing someone across the street."

Legal analysts said the law could raise issues for the town under the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Part of the Bill of Rights, the amendment prohibits the making of any law that abridges freedom of speech, among other things.

DuPhily said her support for the law, which passed 183-50 at the meeting, has made her an object of ridicule in the media.

"The talk radio is making hysterical fun of me. They're calling me the granny-nanny," she said. "People didn't know what to do. They felt uncomfortable walking down the street with their kids."

  • Jimmy - 2012-06-13 14:38

    Banning Americans from swearing is like banning fish from swimming.

      Rob - 2012-06-13 15:38

      WTF !!!!

  • mary.sadler.35 - 2012-06-13 14:41

    Oh good! Now apply the same law to American movies please.

  • Themba - 2012-06-13 15:18

    Swearing is very bad manners which should be eradicated form our societies across the world!!!

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-06-13 15:25

    F&&K them

      Ashton Van Niekerk - 2012-06-13 15:39

      4k them all lol

  • Ryno - 2012-06-13 15:52

    Then ppl from PE must never go to this town...swearing is our 1st language

  • muzi.myeni - 2012-06-13 15:56

    Americans nt swearing? Dream on.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-06-13 15:56

    About facking time too, they did. \r\nThere's way too damn much frigging swearing around.

  • allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-06-13 16:02

    This will only motivate more swearing .

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-06-13 16:02

    I could actually feel my IQ drop when I read this f@\#king article.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-06-13 16:03

    \It only affects you if you are verbally abusing someone across the street.\So the thing to do is: cross the bloody street and then proceed to tell the mothafracker that he's a mothafracker.

      Mfundi - 2012-06-13 17:07


  • anna.schiessl1 - 2012-06-13 18:14

    Swearing in public isn't appropriate for kids who are ear shy. Parents should be able to walk the down the street and not explain others actions like swear words. Need help curbing your swearing try this out.

  • mrp721 - 2012-06-13 18:35

    Gee whiz & those of you using foul language in your comments here must really be feeling so good about yourselves now, well NEWSFLASH you aren't impressing anybody!!! Seriously there is no need to use foul language & especially not in public!!!

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