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Norwegian monument designer blames typos on English spellcheck program

“I was working on the text in the US, and I didn’t have a Norwegian word-processing program," designer says.
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   Dec. 27, 2013 at 2:36 PM

The designer of a typo-riddled monument in Oslo honoring Norwegian wartime resistance fighters is blaming her English spellchecking program for the mistakes on the memorial.

The monument, which honors members of the communist Pelle Group and their accomplishments in 1944, was unveiled in November.

In addition to punctuation problems, the word fellesskap (community) has been spelled “felleskap” on the monument and the word Oslo-området (the Oslo area) is missing a “t.”

“It’s particularly unfortunate when spelling mistakes are made on signs and statues which many people will see and which will be around for a long time,” said Oslo University language expert Botlov Helleland.

The designer, Kirsten Kokkin, blamed the misspelling of felleskap on her English-language spellchecker.

“I was working on the text in the U.S., and I didn’t have a Norwegian word-processing program. The text has been checked by three people other than me. So it was a mistake, but it can’t be changed after the event,” Kokkin said.

Kokkin said that some of the other errors are simply examples of artistic expression.

“I didn’t want to use too many characters… we shouldn’t forget that this is a work of art, an artistic retelling of a historic moment in time. It shouldn’t be thought of as a document,” she said.


[The Local]

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