Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Sowing and Sewing

In Old Town, at the water, behind the Torpedo Factory, there is a large sign with several panels, welcoming tourists and providing some historical information. This large sign has a typo, It says George Washington "sewed" the seeds of revolution, not that he "sowed" them. (I just imagine him with a little sewing machine, sewing those revolutionary seeds.) It is bad enough that the text reads as if it were written for a third grade history book. But to have a mistake like this remain for every new visitor to see is an embarrassment to the city.

I believe the city has its own sign department. I think, perhaps incorrectly, that it costs them next to nothing to make a sign. Ever since they placed that sign, I have reported the typo every year or two, trying to get them to fix it. They won't. Each time I report it, I am routed to a different department. The people in the Office of Historic Alexandria seemed mortified, but nothing was done. One office said the sign would be replaced with the waterfront rebuilding, and if it took years, so be it. Once it was suggested that the city did not have enough money to change the sign panel. Other departments to which I was routed seemed annoyed to be bothered.

I can't fathom why this sign has not been changed. Is it that city staff is now comprised mostly of people who are used to texting abbreviations, and so don't care about something like that? I have no idea, but I think the typo should be fixed now, not years down the pike when the waterfront re-do is finished and a new sign will likely be made.

Visitors should know that Alexandrians know the difference between sowing and sewing.

Marla Brin


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