Southwest Airlines began nonstop service from Newark to Phoenix this month, just in time for my brother’s retirement party, which I attended last week.

Bob served the City of Campbell (California) for 23 years, and although he did not achieve all of his goals¹, he did leave a considerable legacy. Thanks to Bob, for example, the historic Ainsley House was moved to Campbell (and rotated 90 degrees), and Bob oversaw the development of many parks.

The Campbell City Council’s resolution recognizing Bob’s service is here, and his performance of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance (at another Campbell employee’s retirement party not long ago) is here.

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 15.41.10

But I digress. You’ve come here for the latest episode of Spirit Spelling Report.

Ironic Misspelling

“Millennium” (as “Millenium”, twice, on page 254)³


Unexpected nonmisspellings

  • “apostasy” (as “apostasy”, on page 22)
  • “Millennium” (as “Millennium”, in Spirit’s references to Chicago’s Millennium Park except on page 254)

Odd quotes

  • “Throw any mammal in the water, and it will doggy paddle.” —Mark Uhen, paleontologist, in an article about whales.
  • It goes back to me being a kid, to my sisters and I being given a quarter every Saturday to go to a double feature. —James Patterson, “World’s best-selling author” [emphasis added]

Lest you consider me uniquely picky about Spirit’s typography (which is lately much improved), I draw your attention to a fellow from Incline Village, Nevada, who wrote the editors to bewail their failure to italicize the price of Maryland Crab Cakes in a menu within a story about menus. (The other prices on the menu were italicized.) The editors’ cleverly sneaky response? “Usually we’re better at proofreading than we are at math.” Given the quality of proofreading in past Spirits, well.

Finally, a non-Spirit seat-pocket observation: The Late Spring 2011 SkyMall catalog was disappointingly thin. Economists, take note.

¹ The Campbell Soup Company remains in Camden, New Jersey, for example, despite Bob’s tempting offer to have the city’s water tower repainted Warhol-style.

² Etymology: Latin anniversāri-us returning yearly, < ann-us year + vers-us turned, a turning + –āri-us: see -ary suffix. [Source: The Oxford English Dictionary]

³ Although millenary (synonymous with millennium, from post-classical Latin millenarius) is correctly spelled with -n-, millennium (from classical Latin annus) is correctly spelled with -nn-. The OED notes that these spellings “have frequently been confused.”