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Jun 12, 2012 4:25 AM by Kate Richards

Cursing in public? Pay a fine

MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Residents have voted to make the foul-mouthed among them pay fines for swearing in public.

At a town meeting Monday night, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

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.

Supporters say the proposal wasn't meant to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud profanity in downtown areas and public parks.

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