Feeds

Fancy dropping into Pitetsbkrrh?

Pittsburgh tower fails spelling test

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

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. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.