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Town Passes ‘Swearing Fine’

Fines for swearing
(Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

I’m sure we’ve all been out in public and heard someone swearing when they really shouldn’t have been, but it’s one of those things that we simply learn to put up with. Don’t get me wrong, I have the salty mouth of a sailor, but I also understand that there are places when it’s just not appropriate, and reign myself in because of it. The town of Middleboro in Massachusetts is tired of it, however, and they’re going to begin imposing a “swearing fine” to those caught swearing in public.

The fine will be $20 and passed with a 183-50 vote. But they didn’t stop there. In addition to the swearing fine, citizens will also be fined for shoveling snow into the street and smoking marijuana in public.

I can see why smoking mary jane in public could be an issue, and after living in North Dakota for many years I absolutely understand the snow shoveling. But being fined for swearing seems to be a little over the top, especially when you hear the words on that list.

Oh, wait… there isn’t a list.

Bruce Gates, the Police Chief in Middleboro, says that officers will use their discretion when ticketing those who are swearing. I can see potentially huge problems with that, considering that what I deem to be swearing and what you deem to be swearing may actually be two different things. I would imagine that if you argue with an officer about it, that would just make matters worse.

So if you, too, have a salty mouth, you’re best to keep it shut while in Middleboro, Massachusetts. If you rack up a list of words, you might be paying out the ass.


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