Do Mall visitors such as Gouvenaux Thibault of France need more signs?
Do Mall visitors such as Gouvenaux Thibault of France need more signs? (By Nikki Kahn -- The Washington Post)
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Way to the Tall, Pointy Monument

-- The National Park Service is getting ready to put up new signs on the Mall so visitors know what they are looking at.

But some people say structures such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument are so famous that they don't need to be labeled.

A new $2.2 million system of signs is being designed. But some members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which has to approve the system, are wondering about it.

"Do you need a sign in front of the Washington Monument? I don't think so," member Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk said recently.

But tourists not familiar with Washington's landmarks may like the signs. Dien Haemhouts, 24, visiting from Belgium, was asked by a reporter to identify the Washington Monument. He said, "The Ellipse."

Irish Language May Go The Way of Dinosaurs

-- Millions of people will celebrate Saint Patrick's Day today, but the Irish language is in danger of disappearing.

Irish is the official language of Ireland, but only about 30,000 people there speak it fluently. (Most people in Ireland speak English.)

Known as Gaelic in the United States, the Irish language is one of the many languages in danger of disappearing.

The United Nations lists more than 2,400 threatened languages.

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