On Saturday, I joined a few neighbors on the stoop in front of my apartment in gazing toward the sky. “NERO, like from Rome,” said a precocious middle-schooler, referring to the skywriting in progress southwest of our neighborhood. “I don’t know,” an adult countered, European history understandably less fresh in her mind. “I think it says NERD.” I thought so, too.

It turns out that the writing was meant as a shout-out to attendees at an “opulent” tuxedos-and-gowns party on a yacht near the Statue of Liberty. On Facebook, the party’s organizers—a company called ZERO, which is what the letters were supposed to spell—described the event like this:

Tuxedos & gowns... champagne & celebration ... opulence & debauchery... diamonds & jewels... red carpets & paparazzi... this is Monte Carlo ZERO style...

Cool party.

And the skywriting company described its fuckup like this:

“It’s very difficult,” said Ted DeReeder, owner of National Sky Ads, whose pilot spelled the message.

“They look at it upside down and backwards. Ns are the same as Zs. When he came around, he was a little bit confused.”

The pilot eventually rectified his mistake, but by then, the damage was already done. Hope you had fun, nerds.

Image via Emily Steiner/Twitter. Contact the author at andy@gawker.com.