Wednesday, June 25, 2008


License plates are the new front in the culture wars. While South Carolina and Florida are contemplating Christian license plates, North Carolina caters to an entirely different target market:

RALEIGH -- Thanks to some text message-savvy grandchildren, North Carolina drivers whose license plates have the potentially offensive "WTF" letter combination can replace the tags for free.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday the state Division of Motor Vehicles has notified nearly 10,000 holders of license plates with the letter combination.

Officials learned last year the common acronym stands for a vulgar phrase in e-mail and cell phone text messages.

The DMV recently realized the same letters appeared on the sample license plate on its own Web site. Officials are trying to remove the plate from the site.

DMV officials got word of the plates last July when a 60-year-old technology teacher from Fayetteville complained about the plate after her teenage grandchildren clued her in.

The article doesn’t say, but only thing we can come up with is “Why The Frown?” – but we are reasonably certain that’s not what the acronym stands for.

OK, fine, we’ll come clean. We know what it stands for.

And yes, we’ll come fully clean about our dirty minds. A couple of years ago we sat with a neighbor trying to input “potentially offensive” acronyms and abbreviations into the page on the NC DMV website where you can order personalized license plates. Our neighbor was registering his motorcycle and wanted to see if he could get something, well, “potentially offensive” for it.

Despite the snafu with the "WTF" plates, we can happily report that the web site provided adequate protection against our evil machinations.

MORE: No. This was not the neighbor whose tree was struck by lightning.

1 comment:

  1. Worse Than Failure.

    There's a software web site with the name 'Daily WTF' and they re-interpreted it that way. It ain't the World Trade Federation, although that comes up a lot.