Well, strike me pink - within a few days of putting my Knaresborough pictures on-line, I was sent an e-mail with a reply to my throw-away smirky quip.
Mr. David Hay e-mailed me saying that he had been intrigued for ages by the spelling and had decided to go to the effort of tracking down the owner and asking him. The owner turned out to be a decent chap, who replied that his girlfriend's father was a stone mason, and that he thought it would be a nice idea to have the name of the house over the door."The builders who designed the house were Millenium Designs of Knaresborough and we ended up copying there spelling and realised later that the most common spelling was in fact Millennium, But at this stage the stone mason had done his stuff and it was at this stage it was unchangeble. Later I asked the designers why they had spelt millenium different and there plain answer was to be different.
So there you have it."
To me, "to be different" reads more like a post-hoc excuse than a good reason. Still, it always amazes me to learn that there really are people reading the rubbish I write.
I had been considering a page about expensive misspellings of millennium, when the issue was a bit more current. A Newcastle cafe had all its menus, publicity leaflets, the neon signs outside, the inscriptions on the windows etc. emblazoned with "Millenium Cafe". First prize might go to the Goldsmiths chain of jewellers, though, who launched a massive nationwide Millenium (sic) Diamond promotion. I went into one of the branches and pointed this out, and noticed that the spelling was gradually changed over the following months, but I don't know that I was the cause of this. I do know that I was responsible for a different change, however. A friend of mine worked for Paper Dove - a greetings card design company, and after I had been commenting on the matter, she attended the final meeting at which the designs for 2000 were to be approved, and she noticed that on every single one, the word had been misspelled. Fortunately, it was an error easy to put right.
HTML should really have a <pedantry> tag for people like me.