Fine for swearing

25 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274
Fine for swearing

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/06/11/middleboro-town-meeting-to-vote-on-20-fine-for-swearing/

This is a neighboring town that is seeking to enforce an already current law against using profanity in public. There is, sadly, a large usage of it in the small downtown area and in the local parks where kids are.

For the record, I'm not anti-swearing but I do think that there are places were it is inappropriate.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

I am very anti-swearing. But I love living in a country where we can say what we want, even when it is inappropriate, or makes you sound unintelligent. I have no issue asking people not to swear in front of my children when they do and 99% of the time they are apologetic.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

But we're not protected to say "what we want" when it includes profanity. Massachusetts allows towns to individually rule on this.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

That is so ****ing ridiculous. What a waste of time voting on that ****. Bunch of *****-***** ****** in that town.

:biglaugh: Sorry, couldn't help myself. Silly law.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

Well...it was already a law on the books. They voted to see if they wanted to enforce it.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

It's a silly law, and enforcing it is even sillier. Is it acceptable to swear if there aren't little kids around? What if you drop a brick on your toe, doesn't that justify a stronger word than "darn?" What about pseudo-swear words? I personally find "hecka" more offensive than "hell." Is there a published list of swear words, or is it up to the cop to decide if your particular utterance is a swear word or not? I swear sometimes, not because I want to offend anyone but because it's the right word for what I need to say at that moment. If my kids are around, I say, "That's a grownup word, don't repeat it." Grownups get to do things kids can't, and that includes swearing, and swearing in public. I think if that law were challenged, it wouldn't stand up. And it would probably cost the town a lot more than the $20 fine income to fight it, too.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

Nope doesn't matter if kids are around or not. This is only in public setting. Private situations are not at risk. Determined list of what words are profane I believe are forthcoming. Again, state allows towns to make this law. You can challenge it but it will probably be like a speeding ticket. It could go away..it could be enforced.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4107

So the liberal attitude is that it is fine when the government wants to be a nanny state and make rules that only affect the person like what size drink they buy, but when they make a rule about something that actually affects others it is not ok. I do not swear period and I don't like my kids to be exposed more than necessary. I get it that you can't cut it out completely especially when every movie that is worth watching has cussing in it, but I don't think it's wrong to ask people to act in a decent manner in public areas. It's not like they are going to give anyone a ticket unless they are being really obnoxious about it.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

When did I say it was okay for the "nanny state" being okay for the soda ban. In fact, pretty sure I said I hated it and I love this.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4107

"Jessica1980" wrote:

When did I say it was okay for the "nanny state" being okay for the soda ban. In fact, pretty sure I said I hated it and I love this.

When did I say anything about you?

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3179

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So the liberal attitude is that it is fine when the government wants to be a nanny state and make rules that only affect the person like what size drink they buy, but when they make a rule about something that actually affects others it is not ok. I do not swear period and I don't like my kids to be exposed more than necessary. I get it that you can't cut it out completely especially when every movie that is worth watching has cussing in it, but I don't think it's wrong to ask people to act in a decent manner in public areas. It's not like they are going to give anyone a ticket unless they are being really obnoxious about it.

The soda size thing, whether or not I agree with it, wouldn't prevent anyone from actually drinking as much soda as they like. They can buy 2 or 3 of the smaller ones. If you want to drink 800 gallons of soda, you still can.

The swearing fine seems way more "nanny state" to me than the soda ban, although there are definite similarities.

I don't think it's wrong to ask people to be decent in public, but that isn't just swearing to me, it's all kinds of behavior that I don't have the right to regulate. I don't want them screaming at each other, or being pushy, or calling out "Jesus loves you" at strangers........all of which I have seen. I wouldn't try to regulate it though, or fine people for it.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

When did I say anything about you?

You didn't quote anyone specific and I am the OP seemed directed to me.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4107

"Jessica1980" wrote:

You didn't quote anyone specific and I am the OP seemed directed to me.

Nope thats why I didn't quote anyone specific it was just a general statement.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

What liberal attitude then? Mine, previous posters, just general liberal attitude? I'm lost on that.

Laurie~I would agree it was nanny state if they were saying I couldn't swear in my backyard or in my car. But they are not.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3179

"Jessica1980" wrote:

What liberal attitude then? Mine, previous posters, just general liberal attitude? I'm lost on that.

Laurie~I would agree it was nanny state if they were saying I couldn't swear in my backyard or in my car. But they are not.

I don't think you should be allowed to fine people for language that doesn't cause a public disturbance (like yelling FIRE in a crowded building). I get that people don't like it; I don't like lots of things, but I don't get to fine people for behavior I don't like. (If I do, I've got a great list going, though!)

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

That makes sense to me usually something I agree with.

Here though, since it is allowed on a town by town basis in Mass. I support it. It was brought to ballot by people who own small businesses and they felt it was basically a public disturbance downtown and hurting business.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6545

In my personal life I do not swear and I chose who I spend time with around with. I do not spend time with preople who do speak that way. That said, free speech is a wonderful thing and I would never be in support of a ban like this.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

In my personal life I do not swear and I chose who I spend time with around with. I do not spend time with preople who do speak that way. That said, free speech is a wonderful thing and I would never be in support of a ban like this.

But swearing is not included in free speech protections. Does that change your thought?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4107

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I don't think you should be allowed to fine people for language that doesn't cause a public disturbance (like yelling FIRE in a crowded building). I get that people don't like it; I don't like lots of things, but I don't get to fine people for behavior I don't like. (If I do, I've got a great list going, though!)

If you read the article it says it is geared only toward those who ARE causing a public disturbance, not a casual conversation. They aren't banning you from swearing, but if you do it loudly and are being obnoxious about it they can give you a ticket and you pay $20.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6545

"Jessica1980" wrote:

But swearing is not included in free speech protections. Does that change your thought?

I would need to go back and read the exact wording of the Amendment, but I would assume as long as it is not hurting anyone (fire!), then you should be able to say whatever you want. I am not in support of limiting speech. For example, I think a private individual should be able to say that they believe homosexuality is wrong or that blacks and whites should not marry. (NOT saying I think that, just that you should be able to express your opinions even. If they are not socially exceptable)

(Sorry, learning to type on the Kindle)

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I would need to go back and read the exact wording of the Amendment, but I would assume as long as it is not hurting anyone (fire!), then you should be able to say whatever you want. I am not in support of limiting speech. For example, I think a private individual should be able to say that they believe homosexuality is wrong or that blacks and whites should not marry. (NOT saying I think that, just that you should be able to express your opinions even. If they are not socially exceptable)

(Sorry, learning to type on the Kindle)

You are protected to say that you think being gay is wrong. You are not protected from saying your gay neighbor is a f*ckup. Profanity is a non protected class of language.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3179

"Jessica1980" wrote:

You are protected to say that you think being gay is wrong. You are not protected from saying your gay neighbor is a f*ckup. Profanity is a non protected class of language.

I just think that's ridiculous. We get WAY too hung up on words. There are many things I don't want my kids to hear that have nothing to do with swearing, and I still don't think regulating those things is the answer. In fact I would be VERY upset to hear someone in the street talk about being gay is wrong and a sin, and if someone said sh*t or f*ck near my kids, they'd know it was a word they're not supposed to use and that would be that. If they heard things about gay people or other members of their family they'd be much more upset. I also don't want them hearing people talk about rape and violence and murder, but there's nothing I can do about that, nor do I think I SHOULD be able to do anything other than remove my kids from the area or nicely ask the person to hold off on the topic until later.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

Well see, I don't think you can attack your neighbor with verbal assaults and I agree, I would be very upset if I was walking by a store and someone was yelling about murder or that gay people suck or what not.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3179

"Jessica1980" wrote:

Well see, I don't think you can attack your neighbor with verbal assaults and I agree, I would be very upset if I was walking by a store and someone was yelling about murder or that gay people suck or what not.

I still wouldn't think regulating it is the solution. We don't need to protect children from hearing things, we need to talk to them about what those words mean and what those ideas are.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

As much as I cringe when my kids hear things like this I try to use them as a learning opportunity. I want them to know that words have power, and hearing how gross they sound coming out of another mouth is a good way for them to learn it.

Log in or register to post comments