It is no secret that I enjoy profanity…properly used it can be a useful conversational tool. Not any more near Boston:
Residents in a town outside Boston voted to make the foul-mouthed pay fines for swearing in public.
At a town meeting, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a US$20 ($26) fine on public profanity.
Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.
“I’m really happy about it,” Mimi Duphily, a store owner and former town selectwoman, said after the vote. “I’m sure there’s going to be some fallout, but I think what we did was necessary.”
Duphily, who runs an auto parts store, is among the downtown merchants who wanted to take a stand against the kind of swearing that can make customers uncomfortable.
“They’ll sit on the bench and yell back and forth to each other with the foulest language. It’s just so inappropriate,” she said.
The measure could raise questions about constitutional free speech rights, but state law does allow towns to enforce local laws that give police the power to arrest anyone who “addresses another person with profane or obscene language” in a public place.