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USAGE: License Plates (was Re: USAGE: names for pillbug/wood louse/woodbug)

From:Ph. D. <phild@...>
Date:Monday, March 15, 2004, 23:57
Mark J. Reed wrote:
> > Philippe Caquant wrote: > > I think it's a problem for car plates, because it must > > be rather difficult to find some which don't bring > > jokes around, at least if you use series of 3 letters > > (and the English do, I think). Suppose your car plate > > mentions BAG, or BUG, or even BOG ? (is O allowed ? in > > France, it's not). > > The rules for license plates in the US vary from state to state. Those > states which intermix letters and numbers may skip O in order to avoid > confusion with 0, and may also skip I to avoid confusion with 1, but > here in Georgia the letters and numbers in the normal plates are > separated (the normal pattern is "ABC 1234"), so no confusion arises. > There is still the possibility of confusion in vanity plates, however, > which allow the vehicle owner to request any combination of 7 letters and > digits in any order, subject to review and approval by the Department > of Motor Vehicles. > > Certain patterns are often skipped in the automatic enumeration; you > mentioned ASS, and other candidates are FUC, FUK, GOD, etc. The > fully-spelled forms are also rejected in vanity applications.
This pretty much applies to the state of Michigan, too. License Plates for automobiles are always three letters and three digits. They started using "AAA 000" and then switched to "000 AAA". Now they are using "0AA A00" and I assume they will start using "00A AA0" when they run out of those. (Letters O and I are not used.) Whenever I see a plate with something such as "JNZ 123", I always think "Jump if non-zero to 123." There was a flap a few years ago when a woman who was in favor of the abortion-inducing drug RU386 had a vanity plate that said "4RU386." A pro-life person saw it and complained to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The State told her to turn it in, but she refused. In the resulting public outcry, the State backed down. --Ph. D.


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>