One thing's for sure -- I'll try to steer clear of Middleborough, Mass., a town where residents voted 183-50 on Monday to make public profanity a fine-worthy offense.
It's not that I approve or disapprove of the bylaw ... it's just that I doubt if I have either the discipline or the bank account to be a law-abiding citizen in Middleborough.
Cussing, in my book, is a useful and satisfying vocabulary tool. It does, however, have a decorum and I think what Middleborough voters were objecting to was a lack of that decorum. Cussing is not for the feeble-minded.
Who knows if Middleborough will get away with its new ruling, given that "freedom of speech" has been used to cover the spending of vast millions to finance bought-and-paid-for political agendas. The American Civil Liberties Union may stop Middleborough in its tracks.
But if, by chance, the town does manage to get away with it, perhaps they could take on one of my favorite examples of slovenly speech ... the youthful exuberance about using the word "like" in every available crevice of conversational intercourse.
Like, I'd rather listen to someone say "fuck."