Builder: Give Me an `A': Sign Error Forces Him to Buy a Vowel

Article excerpt

A bright new red-and-white sign was assembled in front of the John A. Wilson Building this week, a beacon of hope touting the decaying structure's coming renovation.

But in the rush, somebody forget to check their spelling.

In large, cheerful letters superimposed on a waving flag, the sign reads: "A Capital Project for a Capitol City."

Of course, the word "capitol" was supposed to read "capital," because the District is the capital of the United States, not a "capitol," which is a building where lawmakers meet.

The error, which apparently was the result of a rush job timed to get the sign standing before the second inauguration of President Clinton, left city officials chagrined and passers-by laughing.

"I think it's funny," said Nancy Thomas, a tourist who was strolling along Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday while visiting from San Francisco.

"You'd think if they're going to go to the trouble of renovating the building they'd at least get it right. Obviously they didn't have spell-check," Miss Thomas said.

David Lizana, 30, who lives in Virginia and works downtown, said he didn't catch the misspelled word at first. But he said after he noticed it, it looked obvious. "They should change it," he said. …