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Ay-yi-yi, the I's Have It in the 111th Congress

(From a Committee on House Administration booklet available online)

The 111th Congress begins in January -- a milestone to be cherished by numerologists everywhere, we're sure. And it's been commemorated by the House Administration Committee in extra-snazzy style:

As the "IIIth Congress."

You read that right. For the new-member directory and orientation schedules handed out to freshmen legislators, the page designers busted out in Roman-numeral typography. It looks pretty slick ... except that it's incorrect. The Roman numerals for 111 are CXI -- whereas III is actually 3.

(And how would you say IIIth? "Eye-eye-eyeth"? "Thirdth"?)
"A stylized design," explained a sheepish committee rep, and yes, thanks, some other geeks had teased them about it before we did.

By The Reliable Source  |  November 26, 2008; 1:03 AM ET
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Typographically, IIIth congress as it is presented by the House Administration's design team is correct. A number of typefaces, such as Bodoni, Caslon, and Hoeffler utilize the Roman numeral I for its Arabic counterpart. The design appears to reflect the architectural elements of the columns of the U.S. Capitol, and it's elegant without being overstated.

Posted by: aion47 | November 26, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

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