Feeds

Fancy dropping into Pitetsbkrrh?

Pittsburgh tower fails spelling test

Boost IT visibility and business value

Grant Tower, a Pittsburgh landmark topped with a radio mast and a flashing light spelling out the city's name in Morse, has instead been spelling out the word "Pitetsbkrrh" for some time.

The mistake wasn't noticed until one Tom Stepleton, a Radio Ham familiar with Morse, recognised the letter "K" in the flashing sequence and realised that the traditional spelling of Pittsburgh lacks that letter. He reported it to the building's owners, and alerted the Pittsburgh Post Gazette who care a lot about spelling.

The Gazette explains that the tower was Pittsburgh's first skyscraper. It was completed in 1929, when a red neon light atop the tower was switched on to flash the city's name to passing aircraft, so they'd know where they were.

While pilots might still know Morse, it is a declining ability - Radio Hams in the UK, for example, are no longer tested for their Morse skills - so it's hardly surprising no-one noticed the tower's poor spelling. Morse still pops up every now and then: the default SMS notification on a Nokia handset spells out "SMS", while older handsets have a ring tone which reads "CONNECTING PEOPLE" in dots and dashes.

No-one knows exactly when the sequence on the Grant Tower was changed. The building's owners are apparently aware of the problem but won't say when they'll be able to fix it, so for the moment it's probably best if everyone simply refers to the city by its new name: Pitetsbkrrh. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.