A few vehicle owners in Argentina are finding out that it is not so easy to change a particular licence plate number even when they deem that the message spelled out by the three letter three number system might be offensive or embarrassing to them or others.
Yesterday's La Gazeta reports that over the years a few drivers have complained about licence plates that have spelled out SEX or FEO (ugly) or ANO (anus). Others have also scoffed at plates that letters spell out the acronyms of a soccer team name or a political party not to their liking.
Now comes word that with the onset of new licences with a first letter "G," some of the new licences that have been given out spell the word GAY. Some of the recipients are not happy campers.
Though the paper doesn't mention names, it says that a man in Buenos Aires sent a letter to the National Directory of Vehicle Registrations demanding that his GAY licence plate number be changed. His argument was that the wording made him an object of ridicule and lowered the estimated value of his vehicle.
The institution turned down the request saying that the letters were randomly assigned and not to be read as a word. The agency also says that they have turned down previous requests to change other licences that might have been offensive to those who got them.
Andrés, identified only by his first name and said to be the owner of a metal industry business, has taken things in stride. He applied for licences for three new vehicles that he purchased for the use of his workers and all three plates came back with the GAY lettering.
"Yes, there were some workers that made some comments," he told La Gazeta, "but the permit has nothing to do with the life or personality of the owner of the car or whoever uses it."
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