Figure 1. Millicent Sanders monument. New Hollywood Cemetery, Elizabeth City, N.C. Photo: author.

“Thy trials ended, thy rest is won,” deposes the monument of Millicent Sanders in the fine New Hollywood Cemetery in Elizabeth City, N.C. But after death she had one final trial: the cutter here has marked her down as the “wief” of J.F. Sanders, an unaccountable blunder that makes one wonder who, if anyone, inspected this stone.

You might think ol’ J.F. accepted the defective stone for a cut rate, right? Except how could the monument company ever have wanted to let him take this stone, and erect it, with its astounding blunder, in a highly visible public space? For on the first base there is the inscription “E City marble wk’s,” itself parading an error masquerading as a Saxon genitive, that allows the viewer to trace the blunder back to its source.

My wief Christina spotted this stone during our walk-through of the cemetery, so credit to her, but I laughed out loud at the sheer ineptness of publicly erecting a defective monument with your company’s name on it!

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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