Friday, October 08, 2004

How Do You Spell D-u-m-b-a-s-s?

This is classic. The city of Livermore paid $40,000 to commission a big mosaic art installation for the front of its new library. As part of the piece, the artist integrated the names of 175 great writers, statesmen, artists and thinkers. Unfortunately many of those names are misspelled! (See, it's funny because it's in front of a library.)

So now the city has to pay the artist to fly out from Miami and fix everything (not surprisingly, she was originally from Santa Cruz). For its story, the SF Chron called the woman and got her answering machine, which said that only non-polemic calls would be returned. Good thing she didn't have to spell "non-polemic"!

I do think, though, that the Chron made a potentially erroneous assumption in the graphic that accompanied the story. "Schuman" was one of the names, which the Chron assumed was a misspelled reference to Clara Schumann (why it would be her and not her more gifted husband, Robert, I don't know). But it could refer to 20th century U.S. composer William Schuman (who wrote the Symphony for Strings). Let's give the artist the benefit of the doubt!