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back to article Fancy dropping into Pitetsbkrrh?

Grant Tower, a Pittsburgh landmark topped with a radio mast and a flashing light spelling out the city's name in Morse, has instead been spelling out the word "Pitetsbkrrh" for some time. The mistake wasn't noticed until one Tom Stepleton, a Radio Ham familiar with Morse, recognised the letter "K" in the flashing sequence and …

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Anonymous Coward

Some mothers

Do we all know that the theme tune to Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em actually spells out the title in morse code? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Some_Mothers_Do_'Ave_'Em#Theme_tune

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Coat

Easy to find out whodunnit...

...just look for a building maintenance worker who's a Trekkie -- clearly it's the Klingonese spelling.

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Pint

Courtesy of a Morse Code Translator...

.--. .. - . - ... -... -.- .-. .-. .... (Current sequence)

.--. .. - - ... -... ..- .-. --. .... (Correct sequence)

Perhaps someone encoding it by hand (before the days of online translators) had had a few, and his finger slipped a few times...

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FAIL

Just wondered...

... how different they were in Morse. Perhaps it was just missing a dot or something making all the following letters incorrect but no at least two errors. There is an erroneous extra dot for the 'e' between the two 't's and then it's just wrong.

If it has been going for a long time it could be something mechanical wearing out.

Pittsburgh .--. .. - - ... -... ..- .-. --. ....

Pitetsbkrrh .--. .. - . - ... -... -.- .-. .-. ....

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Silver badge

Bah!

Frskunk hxll!

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QLF

The traditional response to this sort of brass-pounding. It was never an official Q code, but it has been accepted as meaning "please try sending with your LEFT foot on the next over."

--... ...-- -.. . -.-. .... .-. --- -. --- ... ...-.-

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@AC - Some Mothers

BLOODY HELL!! It does, as well!!

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@mittfh

Or the person just had no sense of rhythm

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Happy

That is pretty observant!!

I've caught a few boo boos similar; mostly in movies (then again, most special effects people are clueless about using anything halfway technical in a realistic fashion).

The US also no longer requires CW (Morse Code) to be part of testing for any ham licenses. I'm glad because of being unable to copy code due to the dits and dahs sounding the same after a dozen or so characters. I messed up on a First Class Radiotelephone Operator's license in the early 80s as a result; I had everything but CW. Aced the written, but hosed the code......

I am wondering if they are using the original mechanical stepper or upgraded to a mis-programmed electronic keyer.

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@ Some Mothers

Barrington Pheloung's theme tune to Inspector Morse spells out "MORSE". The name of the killer (or sometimes another character, as a red herring) is often spelt out in the incidental music during the episode. Morse actor John Thaw was known to carry a small lizard in his jacket pocket during filming, in case of Morse code related emergencies.

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@mittfh

It's never a good idea to blindly use an online translator, have you not seen the Asian bar?

http://failblog.org/2008/07/22/translation-fail/

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Pint

@mittfh -Mutations

Thanks for that, saved me doing the same thing.

Analysing the changes, I think that's one insertion (a dot, 'e' after the first 't') and two inversions

..- 'u' > -.- 'k'

and

--. 'g' > .-. 'r'

I wonder if it's the original device which switches the neon lamp? If so, it's almost sure to be mechanical, so perhaps it's just wearing out.

Beer, 'cos, well, I'm going to open a bottle.

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Coat

Morse still pops up every now and then

Not unless he's become a zombie... you're more likely to see DS Lewis round the manor these days.

(and yes, that is an oblique reference to the use of morse code in the theme tune)

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Could be worse...

The workmen building the new stand at a local football club worked out that the illuminated letters on top of the building could be unplugged one by one to spell a rather NSFW word (and yes, I saw this from one of the upper floors of our office block)

The name of the team?

manChester UNiTed...

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Silver badge

Probably mechanical.

Similar to a music box. Some of the "fingers" flattened out over time, and a blob or two of bird/bat shit added a bump or three where not wanted. Should be easy to fix.

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Boffin

@AC #c_538199

Yes. And the theme tune for Inspector Morse spells "MORSE"

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Coffee/keyboard

Pilots

If the original intention was to inform pilots where they were (obviously the days before gps, maps of the sky, flightplans, radio towers etc.) then clearly todays pilots don't do morse or don't care where they are.

"Where are we co-pilot, I'm totally lost and the button to activate the autopilot has got stuck down, stupid keyboard"

"well skipper, seems we're somewhere called "Pitetsbkrrh", sounds like one of those new fangled redneck shopping malls"

"no no no, co-pilot, don't you read The Register? That's how they spell Pittsburgh nowadays, those years of a Bush government really killed off the education system"

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Black Helicopters

From the department of home land security

It's to confuse terrorists, and for proof no one has crashed a plane into Pitetsbkrrh!

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Coat

I for one would like

to welcome our badly spelt overlkrghs

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Badgers

Could be worse I suppose.

Maybe they drank too much 'Arn. Could be worse... They could've mispelled it Cleveland. Or one that really riles people up, Pittsburg.

Funny. First international trip, land at lovely Heathrow Airport. Have a day room at the Hilton. Asked me my address. Pittsburgh I said.

What was on the receipt? Phishdursh. I did not have any drinks on the flight.

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