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Confession: I have a bit of a potty mouth. While I try my darndest not to let the four-letter words fly in front of my 3- and 5-year-old boys, sometimes that doesn't quite work. Just the other day, my oldest son stepped directly on my shin and I screamed "What the F*ck?" pretty loudly. Anyway, not my proudest moment. And it's not even like I need to be physically hurt to swear. We miss the bus: I mumble F*ck. I realize I forgot to pack the kids' a snack: Ah sh*t. I'm getting rained on profusely while pushing a stroller and holding a hand: D*mn it. Now you know.
So I'm feeling pretty lucky the I live in New York and not my home state of Massachusetts right now. Recently, the good folks of Middleborough, MA voted to make public cursing a finable act. Swear there and you'll incur a $20 punishment. Town officials say that the new law is not intended to censor private convos, but to discourage loud profanity used public parks and similar areas.
While I'm not sure this new measure is entirely legal (Matthew Segal, of the American Civil Liberties Union, told MSNBC that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government can't prohibit public speech just because it profane), I can see where they are coming from. Even as a swearer myself, I hate being stuck on a train or in line at the grocery store while someone spews a string of loud and nasty words that my kids can easily pick up and echo. At least I try and mumble!