In these tough economic times, with so many Coloradans looking for work, who doesn’t dream of landing a cushy government job? One such position could be working as a censor for the Motor Vehicle Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue.
The job description: determine whether proposed vanity plates should be approved or rejected.
The only criteria for your decisions: whether the proposed combination of letters and numbers
“carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.”
Sounds easy, but it’s harder than you may think. Consider tofu. One Coloradan liked everyone’s favorite soy product enough to pay extra to proclaim her passion on a vanity plate. While “I love tofu” seems harmless enough, a vigilant Colorado DMV employee spotted a potential threat to public morals and averted near-disaster by rejecting the plate. If you had been on the job, would you have been as vigilant?
Being an official state censor requires a well-refined sensitivity to nuance and subtle distinctions. Consider the examples below. Each pair depicts a plate that veteran Colorado censors rejected as offensive to good taste and decency next to a very similar plate that was approved. If the distinction seems as mysterious to you as it does to us, you might need to look for a different line of work.
If you know which of the plates above were approved and which were banned, you're ready to play:
Who Wants To Be A Colorado DMV Censor?
In April of 2009, we requested lists of all plates, both approved and denied. The only stated criteria: whether the proposed combination of letters and numbers “carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.” The data, however, was puzzling.
TOOSEXY was rejected, but 2SEXY was approved. TOPLE55 was turned down, but TOPLESS was allowed. GANJA was denied, but PEYOTE was OK. See a pattern here? Neither did we.
Here are the complete lists of plates: