Governments' Lighter Side

Are you sure you checked that twice?

by Derek Prall
Oct 08, 2014

The word “irony” is often misused in casual conversation and pop culture. Sorry Alanis Morissette - rain on your wedding day isn’t ironic; it’s just unfortunate. The definition of irony is the opposite of what one would expect to happen, happening.

Something more along the lines of this: Recently the Moorestown, N.J., Library had “Nos Secundus Coniecto Omnia” engraved into its stone façade. According to the Associated Press, officials thought the phrase meant “we confirm all things twice.”
Well, they didn’t, because the AP reports the phrase more closely translates to “we second-guess all.” Additionally, CBS reports next to the botched motto are the Roman numerals for “1653,” when they should be “1853” – the year the Friends of the Library Group was formed.
A library making mistakes on an engraving proclaiming how librarians carefully check everything? That is sweet, sweet irony.
The architect in charge, Rick Ragan, says he’ll pay a stonecutter to change the phrase to “we encourage all,” according to the AP. The craftsman will also be able to fix the numerals to reflect the correct year.

But hey, we’re all human, and the town is taking the mistake in stride. Mayor Chris Chiacchio told the local paper, the Burlington County Times, a mistake is really only a mistake if you do don’t have the courage to correct it.
We agree, Chicchio. But thanks for the irony master class.


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