William Junge of Las Vegas has triumphed in an historic battle for both grammar and garden implements. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles denied the use of his “HOE” license plate, but a court ruled that Junge should be allowed to drive with a Hoes on his trunk and hood.
Junge first got the “HOE” plate in 1999 for his Chevy Tahoe, but the DMV argued to the Nevada Supreme Court that they stopped the use of the plate as clearly vulgar.
Junge in fact did not have ladies of the night in mind when he selected the plate:
In 1999, respondent Junge applied for and received a personalized license plate HOE. Although Junge would have preferred TAHOE for his plate message, he settled on HOE because his first choice was unavailable. For his plate background, Junge initially selected the Lake Tahoe panoramic setting to adorn his 1999 Chevy Tahoe.
Junge relied on Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 590,591 (11th ed. 2007) which established the the correct spelling of the derogatory term is “ho” not “hoe.” Hoe is a garden implement.
Notably, the court rejected the use of the DMV of the Urban Dictionary, which notes “[i]ts content is
frequently presented in a coarse and direct manner that some may find offensive.” The court held “we conclude that a reasonable mind would not accept the Urban Dictionary entries alone as adequate to support a conclusion that the word HOE is offensive or inappropriate. Given the evidence provided by Junge at the administrative hearing, the hearing officer’s reliance on the Urban Dictionary entries is even more
It is not clear if this piece of video evidence was submitted to support the distinction:
For the order, click here.
For the full story, click here.