The CBC story Too rude for the road — government yanks man’s last name from licence plate may have been the most hilarious new story I’ve heard this week, for many reasons, including the quotes from the guy at the centre of the story, as well as the partial list of vanity license plates rejected in Nova Scotia.
I was quite pleasantly surprised, though, at the following commentary from the Department of Transportation, regarding their list of words banned form license plates in the province: “Taylor, the transportation spokesman, said the list of banned words “is always evolving, as slang and language also continue to change and evolve.” Acknowledging the constantly changing and evolving nature of language? Two thumbs up!
But then I was perplexed, at one of the banned words. I don’t understand why you can’t put GRINGO on your vanity plate in Nova Scotia. It’s a pretty complex word with quite a bit of variation between settings. But it’s not by any means a consistently offensive term. And NS is not exactly a context with a tense relations between Latinos and non-Latinos, where it could be interpreted negatively.
(And what about GRINGA? What is I wanted to express my love for flour-tortilla tacos via my license plate?)