MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Washing one's mouth out with soap and water may not be a modern day answer to curbing foul-mouthed language, but Middleborough officials say taking a bite out of the wallet might just be the incentive people need to keep it clean.
The town meeting was scheduled to vote Monday on a proposal from the town's police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.
Supporters say the proposal isn't meant to censor casual or private conversations, but instead crack down on loud profanity heard in downtown areas and public parks.
Middleborough has had a bylaw against public profanity since 1968, but it's rarely if ever been enforced because it essentially makes swearing a crime. The new proposal would decriminalize profanity, allowing police to write tickets as they would for traffic violations.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)