New LEGO Ideas set poses a linguistic problem for design team

As images of the latest LEGO Ideas Lighthouse set are released, it throws up the conundrum of what it is actually called.

It was George Bernard Shaw who once wrote: “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” Another noted wordsmith, one H. Simpson, also commented on the differences between our two countries when he said: “English? Who needs that? I’m never going to England.”

Up until now, LEGO has largely been unaffected by the subtle differences in ‘English’ English (proper English?) and ‘American’ English, the odd references to ‘armour’ and ‘armor’ aside. But with the announcement and official images of 21335 Motorised Lighthouse it has highlighted a particular issue, that of ‘S’ vs ‘Z’. 

LEGO Ideas 21335 Motorised Lighthouse UK US box comparison

Looking at the box of the new set on the LEGO UK site, it is named ‘Motorised Lighthouse’, using an ‘S’ as is right and proper. But looking at the LEGO US site, the box art uses the American spelling of ‘Motorized’, which the Brick Fanatics spellchecking software is already complaining about.

Variations in box art are nothing new. LEGO sets released in some territories will specify the piece count alongside the set number and age rating, while some others don’t. Having two different spellings might cause a headache for anyone who maintains a database of sets though. Do you have one entry or two?

It seems that the LEGO Group are also undecided on what the preferred spelling of the set name is, using both ‘motorised’ and ‘motorized’ in the same press release. At least we can be thankful that LEGO elements are made from ABS and not aluminium.

21335 Motorised Lighthouse contains 2065 pieces and will be released on September 1, 2022, priced at £264.99 / $299.99 / €299.99.

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2 thoughts on “New LEGO Ideas set poses a linguistic problem for design team

  • 21/08/2022 at 13:48

    Really? So the lego motorized bulldozer, escavator etc never existed. Article is based on ignorance.

  • 19/08/2022 at 00:12

    If you’re going to quote George Bernard Shaw regarding this set, instead of quibbling about minor variations in a language which are neither new nor important, why not focus instead on what he actually said about lighthouses? “I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse. They were built only to serve.”


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