Thursday, February 12, 2009

We Smell a Rat

Here's what the AP reports:

Mass. city misspells 'offcial' to catch bag cheats

GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- No, managers with Gloucester's Public Works Department aren't idiots. They're just trying to catch cheats. When the Massachusetts city unveiled its new $2 purple trash bags that all residents must use when disposing of household waste, the word 'official' was deliberately spelled 'offcial.'

Recycling coordinator Kathy Middleton tells The Gloucester Daily Times the intentional misspelling is supposed to make it easier to catch people who try to counterfeit bags. Middleton says counterfeiting has been a problem in the past.

John Craig, regional manager for WasteZero, the company that makes the bags, says he has never before had a community request a deliberate misspelling.

Middleton says the next batch of bags the city orders will be correct.

What seems more likely? That someone would go to the trouble of counterfeiting trash bags--but only one batch of them? Or that someone in a government office misspelled official? We're going to go with the latter--though we admire the ass-covering efforts. We misspell so people don't counterfeit! Because everyone knows counterfeiters are well known for their love of dictionaries.

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