Starts & Stops

Glitch or gag? Road sign typo highlights tried-and-true Bay State-ism

On Memorial Drive, an dropped “R” makes for an “only in Massachusetts” moment.
On Memorial Drive, an dropped “R” makes for an “only in Massachusetts” moment.Credit: (David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe)

Making fun of the Boston accent is perhaps the lowest-hanging fruit of the comedic world. And the jokes don’t get more hackneyed than mocking the dropped R in “Harvard” — as in “pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd.”

But sometimes, as evidenced on this electronic sign near Memorial Drive and River Street in Cambridge, that joke is just so easy you can’t pass it up. The sign alerts drivers to construction work on “HAVARD” Bridge.

Typo? Intentional abbreviation? A gentle jab at our favorite Massachusetts idiosyncracy? We may never know.

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(A hat tip to former state representative John A. Businger, who possesses an eagle eye when it comes to all manner of infrastructural typo and incongruity.)

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