This journal entry leaves a bad taste in MY mouth. Or maybe it’s the hangover…

Click here for the Article.

Name: Increased fines for offensive language leave bad taste in mouths of critics
Date: 2/6/14
Author: Amanda Hoh, Alexandra Back

Key Ideas: 

  • Swearing has become so offensive in Australia that a fine has been placed on offensive behaviour.
  • Fines were issued after a warning, or particularly when f*ck and c*nt were used aggressively in a public space.
  • The fine seems to unfairly target minority groups such as aboriginal people and young people
Language Features: Swearing, Language Progression, Euphemisms, Expletive swearing, Social/Stylistic functions of swearing
Course Aspects: Unit 3 - AoS 1: Informal Language - Role of swearing in society, Swearing, Relationship between the context and the features of language in spoken English

Personal Opinion: This basically puts a cost on words and is ridiculous, because in the end, hurtful or not, they’re just words. Swearing should not be an offence that can fine a kid that accidentally swore in public because he forgot where he was or who he was around. The worst thing to happen to a person caught swearing would be a stern talking to and warning to stop swearing in public places. If caught a second time in that same instance only then should someone be fined for swearing. Not much else to say on this matter. 


  • Police will soon be able to issue fines of up to $500 to anyone who displays offensive language, up from $150.
  • The criminal offence of offensive language is often part of a “trifecta” of infringement notices – the original offence, offensive behaviour and offensive language.
  • Critics such as solicitor Jane Sanders, from free legal service The Shop Front Legal Youth Centre, said swearing was part of everyday vernacular and the laws unfairly targeted minority groups such as Aboriginal people and young people.

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