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A Town Swears Off Swearing

Verbal vandalism in the 'burbs

By Rich_Maloof Jun 12, 2012 4:08PM

Recently, my wife and I were walking to our car from dinner out when three teenagers shouted “PENIS!” and ran past us. It was alarming not only because we hadn’t seen the three boys behind us but because we hadn’t anticipated any outbursts about penises on our way to the parking lot. Dinner had seemed so normal. My mind raced to make sense of it: Was it a warning that a dangerous penis lurked ahead? Were the teens issuing a fraternal alert, as if my own penis faced some unseen threat? Or was it was an insult — an act of verbal vandalism implying that I, being married and wearing chinos, was a kind of penis?

I may never know the truth behind that dark and seamy evening, but the news today that the town of Middleborough, Mass., will be handing out $20 tickets for public profanity brought it to mind. Visitors might think the biggest problem in Middleborough would be unripe cranberries, but the townspeople voted 183–50 to fine the foul-mouthed kids in town who have been carpeting the town’s public parks with F-bombs. As the Daily Dose said back when Chief Goodytwoshoes first proposed the law, we like the idea not because public talk should be scrubbed clean but because maybe outlawing curses will recover the lost power of profanity

Would or should the boys who P-bombed me on a suburban sidewalk get slapped with a ticket? Hmm, tough to say. Of course, “penis” is not a curse word but neither is it a word to expose in casual conversation (and if it’s uncomfortable for you to read it so many times, imagine the Google searches that will now turn up my name). Any way you slice it, clearly the teens chose an engaging use of language. If parts of the anatomy can be turned loose on the unsuspecting public with the impact of a good profanity, I say more power to the penis.


Jun 13, 2012 8:07PM
Quite possibly, some of these kids parents have taught them manners....  But the cool thing when  "hangin' with the homeys" is to talk trash just like everyone else.  All kids want to be liked and not be considered different. Sometimes they resort to falling to the crowds level, just to fit in.  I know mothers that take their young children to the park, yet have to leave when the Jr. & Sr. High kids show up.  Wondering why the "young adults" have to hang on the swings and slides near the toddlers???
Jun 13, 2012 8:07PM
its bout time some-one stands up for public decency instead of all the p/c crud
Jun 13, 2012 8:03PM
Defining what words are swear words is based on every individuals moral or religious belief. If we (the citizens of the United States) have a right to choose our own religious and moral beliefs then everyone has their own definition of what a swear word is. This law is not only breaking the right to freedom of speech but it is forcing everyone to follow a particular moral and religious code, thus also eliminating our freedom of religion. I may have my own moral code that I follow but it is not right to enforce my moral code on others through government intervention. Religion is placed in society so that within their congregations that religious order may practice and enforce their choice of  moral code as they see fit. This is a problem that has been seen before in history and one that will continue till the end of time. Unfortunately is a problem that has eroded the fabric of what our nation was built on, the fabric of freedom. As more laws against, "this and that" are passed the fabric of freedom will be shredded and once more the citizens will be trapped in the same type of tyranny that we thought we had left in England no to long ago. 
Jun 13, 2012 7:37PM
Also  **** Piss **** **** **** Mother****er and tits.  How much is that?
Jun 13, 2012 7:36PM
1. I don't think public profanity is covered by free speech ... I don't think that's what protection of free speech is about. Maybe a good review of why and what free speech is protected is in order, myself included. 2. I seem to hear that many support the right to use public profanity but would never want their children exposed to it ... something seems wrong with this picture. Then why should it be OK for the rest of us to hear it?
Jun 13, 2012 7:28PM
So if I call someone a shallow egotistical shadow of a human despite being incapable of serious intellectual thought and think their brains is so underevolved I wonder how they are even walking.  It is not as bad if I call them a ****ing ****?
Jun 13, 2012 7:22PM
Just another giant leap towards communism, socialism and less freedom mainly freedom of speach (yes swearing is part of that) and one more control in place over the Republic of the United States subjects. What part of a free people is it you people do not like. This is an all or nothing deal and it seems people are gladly pissing away everything that has been fought for in our history. Think before you speak and think harder before you vote. Freedom is not perfect but you restrict it and you are soon a subject to an empire.
Jun 13, 2012 7:17PM
People who have discipline and think before they open their sewers, not to mention respect for others will have no problem with this minor law. It is all the liberal garbage cans who have an issue with this. Stop and think if you would use all the profanity if you were asking God a question or your children for that matter??? Food for thoughts, if you have any... 
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