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Would you buy your child a toy doll that says profanity? Probably not. But if you recently purchased the "You and Me Play and Giggle Triplet" dolls from Toys "R" Us you might be in for a surprise.
The dolls say baby babble. They say "goo goo," "ma ma" and "da da."
They also say something that sounds suspiciously like a word that starts with a "b" and rhymes with "ditch."
Parents and toy buyers were not amused. Pauline Davis of New Jersey bought the Giggle Triplets toys for her grandchildren. She tested them out at home only to be shocked when the toy said something that sounded like profanity.
In Detroit, another woman went through a similar experience when she bought the toy for her niece.
Toys "R" Us maintains that the dolls are just saying baby babble. What do you think?
The toy retailer admitted they received complaints about the doll. So far they haven't planned to pull it off shelves.
Public profanity usually isn't illegal. The First Amendment typically protects cursing. States that used to penalize swearing in public are even loosening up. In 2011 Pennsylvania State Police stopped issuing citations for cursing so long as it isn't threatening or obscene.
But that doesn't mean there aren't any penalties. If you use excessive profanity or act in a threatening way, you could be cited for disorderly conduct depending on your jurisdiction.
So is a toy doll that says profanity illegal? It probably isn't. The "You and Me Play and Giggle Triplet" dolls are meant to say baby babble. And it seems like an honest mistake. It is, however, a cautionary warning for parents. You should probably do a quick check of all your children's new toys. You never know if one of them is actually uttering curse words.