If you have a hard time keeping your language in check, you should probably stay away from Middleborough, Mass. — either that, or clean up your act.
If you are caught swearing in public, that’s a $20 fine. It was one of a string of fines the town passed on Monday night that also included a $50 fine for littering, a $50 fine for shoveling snow into the street and a $300 fine for smoking marijuana in public.
The ban comes at a time when swearing is at an all-time high: Los Angeles psychotherapist Nancy Irwin told MSNBC that the tough economy has prompted more cursing.
“I’ve been dropping the F-bomb every time I look at the Dow or my 401(k) statement!” April Thomas, a 35-year old freelance writer from Watkinsville, Ga., told MSNBC.
Banning swearing isn’t a new thing — there are also bans in Australia, Russia, Dubai and at least nine U.S. states. There are also other local ordinances against public cursing, including Rockville, Md. And St. Charles, Mo. Oh, and there was that time Goldman Sachs banned cursing in emails. (I guess when you’re doing god’s work, cursing is frowned upon!)
And, they make $20 look like a bargain: In Rockville, it’s a $100 fine and in Dubai, swearing is punishable by six months in jail.
To be clear, the Middleborough ban isn’t intended for the occasional curse word in a private conversation — it was meant more to curb loud public swearing by kids in downtown Middleborough.
Police Chief Bruce D. Gates said “cussing tickets would not be issued to two guys watching a sporting event that went bad or if someone who drops their ice cream drops an ‘F-bomb,’ according to the Patriot Ledger.
Thanks for clearing that up, chief. Just one more question — people drop the F-bomb over ice cream? I get over your 401(k) — but @#$%-ing ICE CREAM?!