UPDATED: Decision to yank license plate seems to have ignored community standards

lmaoatu license plate

What's more laughable about this story?

Would it be that a department of motor vehicles has yanked the vanity plate LMAOATU, ruling it "vulgar" because, as most of you know, the A in the familiar texting and email acro LMAO stands for the body part upon which we sit?

Or would it be the fact that the DMV in question operates in the state of Nevada, home to Sin City, legal prostitution and a commercial reverence for the A in LMAO that stands rivaled only by the T in T & A?

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My vote goes to latter; I mean this wouldn't seem anywhere near as ridiculous had it happened in Salt Lake City instead of Las Vegas.

From a report on the Web site of KTNV-TV in Las Vegas:

The plate says LMAOATU.  The acronym means, 'Laughing my @## off at you."  The car's owners Neil Manas and Brooke Bennett-Manas say it's an inside joke meant to be funny and not offensive.

"We see people all the time coming out in parking lots taking pictures of our license plate, or at stop lights, stop signs. You know people think it's funny. We get complimented on it every day," said Brooke Bennette-Manas.

Those compliments are well deserved, IMHO. And you should know that I only used @## instead of the word ass in that excerpt because that's what the good folks at KTNV-TV in Las Vegas did, apparently to protect the gentle sensibilities of their viewers, all of whom - have I mentioned this? - live in or around Las Vegas. (To the station's credit, it appears to be a vigilant guardian of those sensibilities, as a search of its website for the word "ass" turned up nary a cheek. On the other hand, here at NetworkWorld, you can, ahem, find many an ass, be it bad-ass, kick-ass, dumb-ass, ass-backward, the kind that requires covering, or, whoaaaa, how'd those get in there?)

Back to the story:

But someone didn't find (the LMAOATU plate) funny and complained to the DMV.   The pair got a letter telling them their plate was offensive, obscene and had to be changed.

"I really just feel like this is unacceptable.  I see obscene and way worse stuff on a daily basis. This is Las Vegas!" Brooke said.

Sometimes the obvious does require belaboring.

The plate owners will have an opportunity to appeal the DMV decision to a judge. Presuming he or she is a sensible sort, the DMV will get its @## laughed right out of court.

(Update: Two days after the Vegas TV station aired its initial report, the DMV has reversed its decision and will allow the couple to keep its LMAOATU plate. And from now on? "A plate will be approved unless it is clearly, very clearly falls into one of the prohibited categories.  If there's any gray area at all, we will go ahead and approve the plate," DMV spokesman Kevin Malone said. Seems prudent.)

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