Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tahst (as Opposed to Tayst)

First off, I’m not perfect. I typo like crazy and make the occasional factual error. That said, if I’m pulling off some big project — something I’m sending in somewhere, something on which I’m staking my reputation, something that may well outlast me, etc. — I will double- and triple-check the smallest of details. Or, failing that, I will pay someone especially savvy to give it a once-over.

So you’d think the Getty — fancied fortress of art overlooking the expanse of Los Angeles — would take similar measures. Not so, apparently. Have a look at this mural at the Getty Center restaurant and see if you can spot the glaring mistake.


Yep. The word taste is apparently pronounced to rhyme more or less with how a British person might pronounce the word vast… which is not how I pronounce it. This I find fairly surprising. I’m not sure if it’s the painted-on version of a typo (a painto?) or if whoever oversaw the construction of this word mural simply didn’t understand how to represent a long “A,” but I think it’s pretty surprising that the mural exists in its current state, just because one would imagine that the Getty would exercise enough curatorial control to ensure that the first line, at least, read correctly. Besides that, the error could be fixed pretty simply just by turning the umlaut into a long mark. Right?

Now, if any of you have the opportunity to go to the Getty and decided to get a meal, please do your best to shake your head disapprovingly at the tahst.

And many thanks to someone’s dear Aunt Diane — who’s fun when she drinks maybe! — for not minding that I captured her head in the bottom of my photo.

3 comments:

  1. Philip-GB4:19 PM

    That's actually (sort of) right, though, assuming an anglophone's not-too-accurate attempt at pronouncing a German ä. Ä can be written as ae where the "special character" is unavailable.

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  2. Well, I guess I assumed they were basing the pronunciation off English.

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  3. It's not IPA, so it's the dictionary's own idiosyncratic system. That ä could represent anything really.

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