Wednesday, February 06, 2008
You may recall that last April I poked fun at a poster announcing that George Mitchell would be visiting the University of Wyoming campus.
Basically, I found it funny that a prestigious speaker was heralded with the typo "DISTINGUISED SPEAKER."
Then, this past September I noticed another poster listing a different lecturer - this time, Dr. Andrew Williams - as a "distinguised" guest.
I then came to the conclusion that the misspelling was actually intentional and that "distinguised" had some academic meaning beyond my knowledge. I promptly apologized for my earlier criticism.
HOWSOMEEVER, it now appears I should have instead enjoyed a follow-up snicker.
I recently consulted Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Unabridged), and found no references to the word "distinguised."
Keep in mind - this is a 4-inch thick dictionary that does include "distinguishability" and "distinguishingly" as real words.
To further support its credibility, the book also includes the word slaunchways (proof).
But it wasn't arrogance, randomness, or obsessive compulsive disorderness that caused me to revisit the "distinguised" issue (this time).
It was this framed version of the Mitchell poster (currently on display in the political science department) that obligated me to exhume and thrash the dead horse:
Looks like someone needed a little more time and an extra letter. Or, to put it more simply, the poster lacked two things: preparation, H.