China's financial center is mulling over a law against using swear words in public, reports said Monday, in a sign of just how far the city has traveled from its famously profane 19th-century dockside origins.
Newspapers and a government spokesman said the ban could be included in a law targeting spitting, littering, smoking, jaywalking, and other behavior deemed disruptive or anti-social.
The law, now being considered by the city council, needs to address swearing not only because it is uncouth - but also because it could cause simple arguments to escalate into physical violence, the Shanghai Morning Post newspaper quoted city government adviser Luo Huarong as saying.
A spokesman for the city government's Office of Spiritual Civilization Construction said officials were still looking into the feasibility of a profanity ban.
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