Swearing in public

Do you swear often? Apparently it’s a problem in Middleborough, Mass. They now have an anti swearing law and it can cost you $20. It must be a problem too because the vote was 183-50 to approve the proposal.

It’s my guess it’s like playing your radio too loud or something like that. It’s not really a “law” law but an ordinance with a fine. I guess I’m okay with it but it makes me wonder what will come next.

I do think we should be more careful with our language. I try very hard not to swear when I’m out and about. I do it when it’s Paul and I alone when I get really worked up but I don’t swear that often. Just when I’m really REALLY upset when no other words seem to be suitable.

I do believe like this article states though that the vice president shouldn’t have used the F word near an open mike. I think that’s just dumb. You have one of the highest jobs in the United States and to make a gaffe like that is almost unacceptable.

What about you? Do you let curse words fly? Just sometimes or never? Does it bother you to hear them? Would it bother you if out in public you heard a bunch or kids with potty mouths?

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11 Responses to Swearing in public

  1. Laura says:

    Privately, and with certain people, I can be a potty mouth. I try to be creative, and not just drop the ‘f-bomb’ everywhere, though. But I also believe that I don’t need to be spouting that stuff in front of people, especially kids. Occasionally, there’ll be a ‘damn’ or a ‘hell’, but mostly it’s “son of a gun” or “oh crap”, or something more creative. I’ve taken to using English swear words – bloody, for example, since that’s not a swear here. I know, fine line.

    As for this “law”, ordinance, whatever… if they’re challenging it in court, I can’t see how it can stand. It’s unconstitutional – “government may make no law…. abridging freedom of speech” (I’m quoting by memory so don’t pound me too hard if I messed it up). I know that applies to the federal gov’t, I don’t know, though if it applies to state. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

  2. Jenny says:

    I don’t swear ever. Not a big fan of it either! Jason swears all the time at work and comes home and sometimes he forgets he’s not at work anymore and lets on slip by. I yell at him, especially when Hunter is around!

    As far as the “law” goes, who’s gonna catch someone swearing and say oh you owe $20 now! That’s ridiculous.

  3. Sue says:

    I can have a potty mouth, too, but I don’t like to swear in public (when kids ears are around. Out for a night with friends, yes I swear in public then) and I hate when people do it in front of kids. Kids are subjected to enough that they don’t need to hear it from their parents mouth. As for teenagers swearing, they are terrible about it and if this law helps their city then go for it.

  4. SKL says:

    I think it’s silly. You can’t legislate maturity and respect.

    I also think it’s foolish because, who decides what a swear word is? My sister breeds dogs and uses the word “bitch” regularly in appropriate context. Is she gonna be fined? There aren’t very many words that are never appropriate in any setting. Besides, most words we consider “swear words” are found in respectable literature such as the Bible / catechisms. The only word I can think of that is never OK in any context I can think of (in public) is the “F” word. So, you can’t outright ban other words, and if you try to ban their “misuse,” you know how kids are going to manipulate that.

    Just find a way to talk to young people so they realize their public cussing makes them look like immature idiots.

    In the past month or so, at least twice I’ve heard young elementary-school kids cussing at the playground. Not impressed. But truth be told, my kids have heard those words before. Some of them, anyway. I heard them very often as a kid. I don’t think it’s the end of the world. It’s more an issue of respect; as a kid, I’d never say those words in front of an adult. The kids who did that had all kinds of problems that screwed up their filter / sense of respect. A little slow, extremely impulsive, certainly not role models. So why is it different now? Where are kids getting the idea that all this obnoxious swearing makes them cool? Wherever, I’d be sitting my kids down and holding a mirror up to their faces. Maybe if they heard their grannies swear loudly on a park bench they’d realize how it looks.

    • Laura says:

      I think a lot of them are getting it from media – music, mostly. Rap, specifically. “songs” that talk about ‘hos’ and ‘bitches’ and whatever else. You hear the f-bomb everywhere in some of the more hardcore stuff. And more and more, parents want to listen to it for themselves – it goes back to my rant a while ago about that Rhianna song (S&M) and the Katy Perry one from last summer (“Last Friday Night”) where she talks about this wild party, getting high and drunk, having a menage a’ trois. Steve doesn’t see a problem with Josh listening to that stuff in the truck because “he’s going to hear it in public anyway, what’s the big deal?” My side of it is, “yeah, he’s going to hear it in public, where I can’t control it. But that doesn’t mean I have to condone it in my own car/home.”

      It’s the same with swearing. If it’s ok on the radio/TV/movies, kids are going to try it out at home. If the parents don’t come down like a ton of bricks, the kids are going to keep using it.

    • Joy says:

      I agree with the music stuff. Some of it is so vulgar and out of hand and kids sing right along with it and they don’t even know what most of it means. Sometimes it’s cute but other times, it’s not. We have to be careful of what we willingly expose our kids to and how they can take those words and use them without thinking. Or thinking they’re cool.

  5. Laura says:

    Oh! Josh dropped the F-bomb a couple of weeks ago!! He was busted for this or that, and I sent him to his room. But not before he made it absolutely clear that I was being TOTALLY unfair, and he was being persecuted, and he was going to have to spend THE REST OF HIS LIFE in the Gulag (his comfy room). On the way back, down the hallway, I hear him muttering all kinds of stuff about what a Mean Ol’ Mom I am, and then…. (whispered)… “fuck”…. and then (yelled) “WHAT THE FUCK???”

    I was out of my chair like a shot. Into his room. He was terrified. He KNEW he said the wrong thing… and I shocked him. Sat and talked with him about it. Where did you hear it? (From W, who heard it from his dad… Manservant Jim. What??? Jim doesn’t talk like that. Asked him (much later), and discovered it was likely a Farm Hand. Whatever, they’re going to hear it anyway) What makes you think it’s ok to use it? Well, it isn’t…. So we talked about how, if he’s with his friends, not around adults, I can’t control his language, it’s up to him. But it is now up to him to be respectful of those around him… NEVER talk like that in public, around adults, and even around your friends – especially girls (yes, I’m old-fashioned). This time, there will be no punishment, because I know you didn’t really know. NEXT time? The world will end. No Screens or Legos for a week. And if the word/use is bad enough? Soap.

    He hasn’t done it again.

  6. Joy says:

    As long as this got brought up, what about the words they say on TV???? I wonder if anyone cares that some of us are sick of it. First thing in the morning. Take The View. They say bitch constantly on that show whether it’s “skinny bitch” or “my bitch” or something like that. Yesterday morning they were talking about vagina’s and penis’s. Don’t get me wrong. I do like when people use the correct name for things but why do we need to talk about that stuff at all?

    On Dallas last night (just for an example) I heard “son of a bitch” more times than I can remember and on soaps, it’s the same way. We hear ass and damn or bitch. It offends me sometimes. It really bothers me when the grandkids are here.

    I just don’t find it necessary or have relevance to anything. Why do people have to use those words? I think this is one of those times that we should go back and not forward. Yes I know kids hear these words and my kids swore too but not in front of me until they were grown and one of my kids swears all the time and the other one hardly at all so who knows why people do it. Paul swears a LOT at work and comes home and I sometimes have to say “are you 17?” Knock it off! Once I make him aware of it he stops but I think it may just be a guy thing at work.

    • Laura says:

      I hate, with a passion, the term “va-jay-jay”. I don’t CARE that Oprah thinks it’s the funniest word out there, or the hippest description, or whatever. it’s stupid, crude,crass, and idiotic. And I really wish people would just knock it off!!

      Fshew. I feel better now.

      anyway. I agree with you about TV, unfortunately, there are more of the “if you don’t like it turn it off” crowd out there now. That seems like the “get out of jail free’ card for everything – the music, crap on TV, movies, everything.

      It’s just one more sign of the ‘coarsening of society’. (who coined that phrase, anyway? Bush? Carter? I thought it was a politician)

      Today at the pool, I was sitting with the kids on the lawn, with several other groups of kids around us. We’re talkin’ LITTLE kids, some of them around 2. None more than 10. And a couple older kids – middle school age – show up and start playing football. They’re throwing the ball right over our heads! And one of them couldn’t catch for nuthin!! So finally, after a bunch of other ladies/moms/grandmas gave these kids the hairy eyeball, and none of the boys noticed, I spoke up and told them to go play somewhere else. The kid gave me lip back!! Said something like “it’s not your pool, if you don’t like it YOU go somewhere else!”

      I could NOT believe it. Wait. yes I could. Middle school. Still. It was unbelievable. Another mom got her courage up by then, and told the kid if they didn’t move along, she was going to get the guards to pitch them out.

      The kids moved, but every time they came back from the water (during guard breaks), their ringleader would look at me, trying to stare me down. There was NO WAY I was backing down in front of this kid. It was appalling how disrespectful he was.

  7. Nikki says:

    I don’t swear as much as I used to, and I never do it in front of kids. I don’t do it out at the ball field, or in general public. It’s all about respect for the people you are around. I know who it’s okay with, and not okay with. I do slip in front of Bailey, but it’s not often. I’m trying really hard to get the F word out of my vocabulary all together. It’s one of the most foul words out there. But sometimes, it just comes out!

    I also have always taught Bailey to not repeat the bad words he hears. I think it’s easier to do that, than to expect others to watch their mouths. It’s 2nd nature for some. I do cringe when I hear it in front of little ones.

    I’m not sure about the law, and being fined. Mainly because what do they consider a bad word? I’m not sure if I agree with it.

  8. SKL says:

    Just today at the playground, with little kids (ages ~4-6) – and my 45yo self – within earshot, I heard a boy around age 10-12 spout the F-word, quite casually, to his friend. Things sure are different from when I was young.

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