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Middleborough profanity ban touches a nerve

MIDDLEBOROUGH - On the first morning that swearing in public became a civil offense in Middleborough, Corey Mills said he heard more swears than he has ever heard in his life. He was answering the telephone at the police station, where he is a sergeant.

This is a small town, but the calls were coming from far and wide, for the previous night at its annual town meeting, the residents had overwhelmingly voted to give police the opportunity to hand out $20 tickets for using profanity in public. One angry veteran came into the station to argue that he had fought to defend his right to swear; he had to be shown the door.

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