Sign Thieves in Need of a Spelling Lesson

From the files of the Knoxville Police Department

Thieves are generally not renowned for their remarkable intelligence. Apparently this lack of know-how extends to the most basic of skills: spelling.

The Knoxville Police Department recently received a call from Neon Services on May Avenue reporting a theft. The business, which makes neon signs, had found several letters missing from their inventory one morning at 8 a.m., all of which had been present the previous afternoon when they closed at 4:30 p.m. Among the missing letters were three 48-inch black letters, B, L, and K, and two 72-inch black letter Ls.

The letter thieves may have not been aware of this, but it’s a morphological rule of the English language that all words must include a vowel—even if it’s that tricky “sometimes y.” Police on the lookout for a misspelled neon sign may have the best chance of apprehending these witless thieves.

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