Embarrassing spelling mistakes at new German university library

The expert linguists of the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in the southern German city of Munich have been left red-faced over spelling mistakes at their new specialist library.

Ancient Greek quotations – especially from Homer’s “Odyssey” – etched into glass surfaces for ornamentation at the library contain errors, the university confirmed to dpa on Friday.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung broadsheet had previously reported on the “orthographic botch” at the library, which is called the Philologicum.

“The problem was, above all, that the quotations were made by the process of film printing, and with this technique, the film must be removed from the glass,” said the head of Philologicum, Benjamin Ruecker. “Unfortunately, some of the typographically very fine details came off with them.”

The details were diacritical marks above the vowels to indicate pronunciation.

The university has now made a virtue out of necessity and passed on the problem to participants in a seminar as a troubleshooting exercise.

“Undergraduates in Greek often have problems with the correct placement of diacritics,” said Ruecker.

However, the corrections of the errors had already been commissioned, he added.

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