USC F for Effort In Covering Up Shakespeare Blunder

8/22/2017 2:45 PM PDT

USC, F for Effort in Covering up Shakespeare Blunder

EXCLUSIVE

USC is standing firm ... it purposely spelled Shakespeare's name on a new statue without all 3 "e"s ... but maybe someone should inform the registrar's office.

We weren't buying that USC didn't want to buy a vowel to properly spell Shakespeare's name on the statue of Hecuba, which features a quote from "Hamlet" with the engraving, "Shakespear" ... without the "e" at the end.

The university told TMZ, since the famous playwright's surname has been spelled 20 different ways over the centuries, it "chose an older spelling because of the ancient feel of the statue, even though it is not the most common form."

But a quick search for the "older spelling" comes up empty on USC's class courses.

Now we know, what's in a name.