As I begin this article about Taylor Swift’s typo, I have to admit something…
I’m honestly not sure if it’s going to include any helpful advice apart from the obvious. Which – obviously – is to review your written words before you print or otherwise publish them.
Also honestly, I might just end up going on a rant. We’ll have to wait and see.
For starters though, for those of you who don’t already know, here’s the context, courtesy of USA Today:
Taylor Swift may have declared “spelling is fun!” in the lyrics of her new song Me – but nevertheless, her merchandise could’ve used a more diligent copy editor.
Fans on Twitter spotted a misplaced apostrophe in the lyrics printed on Swift’s merch, reading, “Your’e the only one of you / baby that’s the fun of you.”
“There’s a typo on the new @taylorswift13 merch!” one Twitter user wrote Wednesday. “So much for ‘Spelling is fun,’ am I right?”
“EXCUSE ME! I’ve had this shirt for nearly a month and you’re telling me it’s had a typo THIS WHOLE TIME!!” another fan wrote, clarifying in an additional tweet, “In light of all the viral Taylor Merch grammar error. I still love my shirt Taylor.”
At last check, Taylor Swift herself – whose “Mean” lyrics are quoted in the header above – never responded to the tweets, a fact I have mixed feelings about.
On the one hand, I highly doubt it was her direct fault that the “merch” went out the way it did. The singer no doubt leads a very busy life, what with her song writing, song recording, song tours and media appearances to keep those songs front and center in our minds.
As such, she no doubt pays other people to promote her lyrics on t-shirts and other approved apparel and accessories.
At the same time, as far as I understand it, she is, in fact, the one paying those people.
She’s their boss. The buck stops there. So it only seems right for her to send out an apology tweet or some sort of mea culpa.
Though that’s not my main beef with all this “news.” Nor is it the shoddy editing that took place with a simple two-line, 12-word song snippet.
Don’t get me wrong. The editing (or lack thereof) is pretty bad. Downright unacceptable, actually. And, if I were Taylor Swift, I would promptly fire my “merch” manager.
‘Cause that thing should have been caught well before this point.
Yet the problem here is much, much, much bigger than one unacceptable employee or one bad team. This much is evidenced by the fans themselves.
I’m not trying to pick on the (presumed) girl who tweeted that she’d had the shirt for almost a month without noticing the typo on her own. Apparently, she wasn’t alone since the story just broke last week.
Therein lies the problem.
I don’t know how many people bought these shirts, but considering Taylor Swift’s die-hard fan following, I imagine more than a few.
Yet nobody. Noticed. The typo. Not until weeks later.
How does that happen? Are young people these days that poorly educated or unobservant?
If so, that’s pathetic by every definition of the word.
Argue all you want that the text isn’t glaringly big. I get it. But before responsible creatures buy a shirt with words on it, they read what those words have to say. You know. Just to make sure those words match up with what they believe.
They don’t just blindly buy something from somebody based on celebrity status. Otherwise, as Taylor Swift sang once upon a time – this time in her “Bad Blood” hit – “All these things will catch up to you.”
In other words, it ain't gonna go well for you in life.
So there you go, everyone. There’s my rant.
Oh, right. And review your written words before you print or publish them. It’s the “write” thing to do.