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Despite the Constant Boring License Plates, Covfefe

By: Bridget Clerkin June 13, 2017
A May 31, 2017 late night tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump.
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From autocorrect fail to automotive win.

Covfefe,” the mystifying phrase tweeted out by President Trump last month, has accumulated quite a following, and now drivers may find themselves literally following it on the road.

Vanity license plates stamped with the term have already been issued in at least 22 states since the President unleashed the strange word on the world on May 31, proclaiming in a late-night tweet: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”

While there has yet to be an official definition attached to the nation’s first official meme, for a few fast-acting patriots, the term translated to a fun break from the constant barrage of animosity in the news.

“Of all the goofy things I’ve done in the last couple months, this is pretty low on the list,” Evan Milton, the plate’s owner in Nebraska, told the Lincoln Journal Star. “This whole thing is so ridiculous.”

The President seemed to pick up on that silliness, imploring the world in his follow-up post to decipher covfefe’s “true meaning,” telling us to “Enjoy!” And it seems like most of the plate’s buyers have been doing just that.

“I just figured what the heck,” said Dana Lukens, the recipient of the vanity tag issued in Maine. “If you can’t laugh at the world, you yourself will have a stroke and go nuts.”

While Lukens told the Portland Press Herald he voted for Hillary Clinton and considered himself an Independent, the term was just too cheap and easy to resist.

“It was $27, which is less than a pizza,” he reasoned. “I figured someone’s gonna do it.”

In fact, someone did it in nearly half the country. And that’s just counting the “covfefe” purists.

Those not lucky enough to score the “correctly” spelled version have tapped into their creativity in order to still sport the phrase. In Texas, for example, the original “covfefe” has been claimed, along with variants “covf3fe,” “covfef3” and “covf3f3,” CNN reported.

And the idea has yet to run out of gas. Pennsylvania received an order for the plate as late as this week.

Perhaps that’s because, still absent an explanation, the word has become endlessly adaptable. (That is, at least, for anyone not in the “small group of people” who “know exactly what [the President] meant” by the phrase, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.)

But for DMVs receiving the requests, the term has been successfully translated—to mean more money. A modest fee is typically charged to produce vanity license plates, allowing the offices to cash in on the tagline.

It may be microscopic, but it’s an economic boon to state agencies that the President can unquestionably take credit for. And that’s pretty covfefe.

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