Oh, FFS: Town bans swearing in public

Yes, Middleborough town meeting up and approved fines for public cussing.

One of Middleborough's ponds is known as Assawompset.

Ed. note: However, Assawompset Elementary School is in a neighboring town.



    Free tagging: 


      I understand what they are

      I understand what they are doing but is it worth it financially to the town.

      What will be the ratio of money collected from fines compared to how much it will cost the town to defend the law in the courts when someone challenges it on 1 amendment grounds.

      I don't understand what they're doing

      Swearing might be rude, but there's no evidence whatsoever that it is detrimental or harmful to society or that individuals who swear are any better or worse than those who don't. Middleborough is making a laughingstock of itself and more importantly, is playing with Constitutional fire that could cost it dearly in the future.

      I do

      A bunch of old women and men, half senile, flooded the town meeting and thought in their old age that decency laws need to be brought back... back for the children!

      Seriously, watch the news report and laugh at who and why this is being pushed.

      The town should know better, but apparently people of better judgment are too busy trying to stay afloat in this economy to be bothered with this dreck.

      My parents own small hometown is having the same issues, but with a different problem. Their tiny village, every meeting, is in the process of planning a 3-5 million senior center that they really can't afford, that will serve little purpose, and that only makes sense because a small group of seniors banded together and want it.

      Everyone else is a bit miffed about telling these people it's a waste.

      A List?

      Where does one find out just exactly what constitutes a swear? As Kaz brings to our attention in an oblique way, variant pronunciations may or may not be acceptable!

      Shite? Sumbatch? Arsehole?

      And where is the line drawn? I'm sure they mean to wipe out asshole (excuse that) but what about bumhole? And can I get away with "proper" terms for acts once considered indecent? Will I be sucked into court if I ask someone to fellate my penis?

      Inquiring dirty minds want to know!

      On another note, some creative individuals (of which I am not one) might find out if Middleborough has an official website, then bombard it with obscenity-laden messages. Fun thought.


      Another "I'm holier than thou" ruling:

      Really....fining people for swearing in public!!??! Swearing's an age old pasttime, which is as American as apple pie. This sort of "I'm holier than thou" attitude's getting out of hand. Those people in Middleborough are a bunch of little goody-two-shoes purists.

      What constitutes swearing?

      I mean, I get the obvious ones, but what about "Goddang it" or "frigging?" Both are considered swearing by my grandfather. Will Middleborough be providing a list of what not to say, or is this going to be trial and error? What about workarounds ("H-E-double hockey sticks")?

      Just curious.

      Golly, Gosh, Gee

      Actually refer to a rather holy deities neither regions. They were swears and sacrilegious back in the day.

      What a difference a few hundred years makes on sentiments.

      Which is really why this bullshit is fucked.

      Wrong Town

      Assawompset is a Lakeville school, part of the Freetown-Lakeville School District. It even says so in the linked article...

      Not quite what it sounds like......

      After reading this on boston.com, this anti-swearing law isn't exactly new.

      The law existed for awhile, it has just been decriminalized which had the effect of reviving it:

      .... the citizens of Middleborough voted 183-50 to decriminalize a bylaw against profanity in public. The law had been on the books since 1968 but not used in years because it wasn’t considered worth prosecuting. Decriminalizing effectively revived the law, giving police power to hand out $20 tickets without worrying about bringing a criminal case to court.

      And of course, its contitutionality is questioned:

      David Hudson, a scholar at the First Amendment Center, said he expects the constitutionality of the ordinance will be challenged, and that the law will be invalidated.
      “Profanity is protected unless it is fighting words, true threats, or incitement to eminent lawless action. Those are narrow definitions,’’ he said. Otherwise, “one man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric.’’