In continuing to do the whatever it is that they do (other than make Weiner jokes), the Post has rounded up a list of words New York state has apparently banned from vanity license plates on the grounds of being “offensive or objectionable.” A lot of them… really aren’t.
Aside from obvious profanity, racial slurs, drug references (“BLO”), “Nazi references,” and semi-vulgar or transgressive composites like “UPYURZ” and “HUMPIN” (or the Post‘s handy photoshopped suggestions like “SEX HOG,” and “Z BALLS”), the list also bans tamer fare like “butt,” “fart,” and “dork.”
Which makes enough sense, if the going assumption is that the state would like us all to act like mature adults and go through our days without needlessly offending strangers with delicate sensibilities (or pissing off cops who have guns with plates like “OINKPD,” which was also banned). What’s stranger is an apparent aversion to not-at-all objectionable terms, like “GAY,” “JEW,” or “LSBIAN.” Seems like an issue that all depends on word combination and could be taken on a case by case basis (assuming there’s an actual human responsible for reviewing these things), or a sort of lame way to pander to violent assholes who might be riled up by totally normal acts of self-identification. Regardless, good to start off the day knowing that someone out there tried to pay money to drive around with a plate that said “DOOSH.”
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.