Internet Culture Makes Formerly Fine License Plate Obscene

from the way-to-go,-internet dept

For many years, of course, it's been common for internet users to make use of various shortcuts or acronyms to make common phrases much faster to type. While this "txt" speak may not harm anyone's grammar skills it has certainly introduced some new "words" into every day use. As submitted by Jon, it seems that's a problem for the 74-year-old woman in Ohio who had the vanity license plate: NWTF. To her, it meant "NorthWood Tree Farm," the business she owns. Apparently the youngsters at the motor vehicle bureau identified it more closely with internet usage of "wtf," usually meaning "what the f***." The N presents a bit of a problem, as it doesn't appear that many people use "nwtf," so the motor vehicle bureau just tacked on a "now" before the wtf -- and then rejected her renewal application for the license plate she's had for about a decade, telling her it broke the rules for obscenity on vanity plates. Of course, the folks at the National Wild Turkey Federation may have a thing or two to say about that.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Reid Leake, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 1:44am

    NWTF?

    Great - NWTF am I supposed to do?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Louis, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 1:46am

    First Post

    A phrase springs to mind... oh yes...

    wtf?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Louis, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 1:46am

    Aargh

    Scratch the First post bit

    WTF!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Banditofnovernetold, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 1:57am

    doesnt motor vehicals have anything better to do???
    Now wtf are they going to do when someone wants a license plate stating wwjd?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Wolfger, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 2:31am

    NWTF???

    Since when did an acronym become obscenity? Attention all custom plate seekers: the following letters shall no longer be permitted:
    A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, N, P, S, T.

    (I know... probably all 26 letters have swear words associated with them. That's all I could come up with on short notice at 5 AM)

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 2:32am

    ....turkeys alright...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Andrew Strasser, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 2:39am

    HAHA!

    yeh NWTF???

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 2:46am

    Re:

    Yeah, WTFWJD?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 2:51am

    Does anyone else find it funny that her last name is Nip(p)le?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Myself, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 3:59am

    Ha! I predicted this!

    Except my plan was to plate-squat on words and acronyms that I predicted would become vulgar in a few years, even to the point of "seeding" them in the public consciousness (bribing TV producers, etc) to hasten the change.

    Why? Just for fun...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 4:57am

    so start seeding. what other acronyms you got?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Fun Guy, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 5:14am

    Lets make the number one (1) obscene. We can start using it over the internet as txt speek for the finger.

    IMGuyA: NWTF r u gonna do about it?

    IMGuyB: 1

    IMGuyA: O NO U DIDN"T!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Mau, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 5:57am

    She should have 'NIPLE' as her License Plate...

    Then I SOOOOO want to see the DMV tell her that they can't do that because her last name is obscene!!!!

    Then she could definitely get away with her NWTF.

    WTF!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 6:04am

    "so start seeding. what other acronyms you got?" ... I Got a Bunch here: www.noslang.com

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    s, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 6:16am

    only solution

    FTW

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    John Galt, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 6:37am

    Typical GovThink

    So typical of government-think... mental midgets trying to control our lives. NWTF does our US Constitution say? Oh yeah, something about freedom of speech. (doh!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Rush, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 6:53am

    Bigger Government Anyone?

    Let's see ... isn't Ohio the state the Kerry moonbats claim Kerry actually won?

    Love those Democrats!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:05am

    Re: Bigger Government Anyone?

    yeah, they may claim kerry won, but look what happened with a bush state.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    heavyw8t, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:13am

    WTF?

    The can KMA!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:19am

    GET OFF MY LAWN!

    you crazy kids with your internets!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    MD, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:45am

    Plates

    No one complains about the "FUQ 2EH" on Canadian plates...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Brad, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:46am

    A friend of mine...

    has a plate that reads "3475H17"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    rudedawg, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:47am

    NOW WTF!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 7:56am

    Re: A friend of mine...

    can someone please explain what this means?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    charlie potatoes, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:03am

    what is the internet?

    well, i'll tell you...it's a series of tubes. It is not a truck you can put stuff on...just a series of tubes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: A friend of mine...

    3=e
    4=a
    7=t
    5=s

    I am sure you can get the rest...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:04am

    has a plate that reads "3475H17"

    means 3=E 4=A 7=T
    therefore 347 = "EAT"...

    5=S H=H 1=I 7=T...

    You do the math...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:06am

    All Your Plates Are Belong To Us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:25am

    don't make me turn the hose on you! now keep off my internet!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:29am

    what is this "internet" you are speaking of?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Louis, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:35am

    Re:

    Teh internets, you know? Its what made us stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    DittoBox, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Bigger Government Anyone?

    Screwed royally either way. Too bad there aren't other parties...oh, wait, there are!

    I just wish more people actually realised how bad the current goons are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Fun Guy, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 9:20am

    1

    That's all I gotta say to the Ohio DMV

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 9:29am

    Stupid!

    Who cares!

    Vanity plates are a stupid idea anyway!

    -often they are too personal that no one can even understand their meaning.

    -If you can understand them, they are just stupid.

    -If you break the law, you are too easy to identify with vanity plates.

    -Vanity plates are more often than not associated with being vain.

    So what is the point of vanity plates other than more funds to be misappropriate!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 9:32am

    Faulty Math

    Regarding: 3475H17
    I've read through these posts and came up with:

    "Eat shfingert"

    NWTF?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    BLARG!, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 10:35am

    No Misappropriated funds HERE!

    In GA vanity plates are actually pretty cheap. It's the Ad-Velorum (sp?) tax that really bites your arse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Lay Person, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 10:48am

    Re: No Misappropriated funds HERE!

    ad valorem

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 12:52pm

    VAT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 1:12pm

    (.)(.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 1:48pm

    QQ

    (.)(.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Gem, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 3:51pm

    BKDFKP

    Funny this, over here in down under land, this has been happening for ages.

    For instance, BKDFKP. None of you know what it means, to us car modifiers, its Back The F** Up, its not offensive to general public because they dont know what it means. However they were taken away because of FK.

    Another one, RAC15T. Race 1st... Taken away because its "Racist" or so they think.

    All in all, nothing new, governments owned an old lady... business as usual to them!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 4:22pm

    FTP?

    How long before the MVB banFTP because they assume it means F The Police?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 7th, 2006 @ 5:22pm

    So what's new

    Is this so different from Darkie toothpaste? Once considered a perfectly harmless name, nowadays not so harmless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 8:53am

    i saw some weird ones locally here
    i saw a random one that had WTF as the last 3 letters
    another random one that had XXX as the last three
    and one that had WTH as the last three

    as a computer guy i also notice ones that have
    DSL, PHP, ASP, and probably half a dozen other computer acronyms i cant remember atm

    oh ya ATM :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Tracer, Aug 8th, 2006 @ 1:59pm

    Literacy and Comprehension

    It is true that language is evolving. Because of the desire for real-time communication, we are constantly searching for shorter, faster ways to say things. These acronyms are a natural product of that change. Unfortunately, when things are not spelled out, misunderstandings become much more likely, as we saw in this case.
    However, my friend and I have made a game of using letters we see on license plates and making words and phrases (some innocent, some not). This proves the point that anything can be viewed as obscene or inflammatory, regardless of the intention of its creator.
    In my opinion, since that plate has not been disputed in the 10 years that she has had it, there should be enough precedent to keep it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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