National

Calif. 'cuss-free week' to start on Monday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Dang, darn and doggone, if you must, but zip your four-letter lip — please.

California is asking its 38 million residents to watch their mouths after the Assembly voted Thursday to approve a voluntary "Cuss Free Week" to begin Monday.

The legislators' action is a testament to a campaign launched three years ago by a teenager who sought to make a difference.

McKay Hatch, who created a no-cussing club at his South Pasadena, Calif., junior high school three years ago, watched Thursday's vote from the Assembly floor.

Hatch, now 16, has seen his cuss-free campaign embraced by 35,000 people online and more than 100 schools and churches.

Hatch doesn't really expect the entire state to honor Cuss Free Week, but he hopes it will attract attention to civil discourse.

"People use cussing so frequently that they don't even know it, but it really offends a lot of people," Hatch said.

Alternatives to curse words?

Try "sassafras" or "barnacles" or "oh, pickles," Hatch suggests.

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