Taylor Swift’s t-shirt typo isn’t a total disaster


Did you notice the misplaced apostrophe? If you didn’t, don’t worry, you’re in a smart company: Taylor Swift has been named and shamed on social media for mis-punctuating one of her T-shirts. Quoting the lyrics to her new song, ME!, the shirt declares: “You’re the only one of you.”Swift’s mistake is all the additional delicious as a result of, elsewhere on the only, she sings: “Hey kids, spelling is fun!”  (Fun fact: Swift once won her elementary school’s competition contest). But she’s not the primary pop start slip up on the icy path of fine good grammar

Last year, Cheryl created the same punctuation error on a hoodie that includes lyrics from her single Love Made Me Do It (“it wasn’t my fault”), whereas One Direction sold-out T-shirts for their 2012 Australian tour listing a concert on “21th June”.

Justin Bieber conjointly recalled a garment for his 2016 Purpose tour after fans pointed he’d invented the new word “purpose”.


Mistakes are “not common but not unprecedented,” says Henry Oliver, editor of New Zealand’s Metro magazine and co-author of The Art Of The Band T-Shirt.

“Getting the names of cities wrong is that the commonest mistake – but once you’ve left for tour, and you’ve got boxes of t-shirts, the error appears to stay.” There’s a reluctance to scrap mis-printed merchandise thanks to the value concerned. A run of 1,000 T-shirts prices regarding £2,500; and major artists can print more for a world tour.

Billion-dollar business

Added to that, “there’s been a general shift towards the merchandise as a revenue generator since the decline of record sales over the last 15,.. .20 years,” says Oliver. 

According to Licensing International, the world music merchandise market was price $3.1 billion (£2.4 billion) in 2016.

To put that in perspective, revenue from live music concerts worldwide last year was $5.65 billion (£4.44 billion); whereas the world marketplace for recorded music was price $19.1 billion (£15.04 billion), consistent with the IFPI.

So merchandise could be a very important supply of financial gain – and artists are finding new ways in which to take advantage of its potential. “Over the last 5 years, there’s been a brand new stress band merchandise as streetwear and fashion,” says  Oliver.

“So, as an example, Harry designs came to play recently in Auckland, and there was the chance to travel and obtain merchandise the day before the show.

“That appears to be associated more and more regular prevalence, whereby artists will come back and have pop-up shops that may nearly be commerce a vesture line. It’s additional corresponding to fashion than ancient concert merchandise.” Kanye West, who takes fashion as seriously as music, helped pioneer the trend, launching his Yeezy collections with lavish shows at New York Fashion Week.

Notably, his styles sell at a lot of higher costs than the typical £20 tour shirt, a trend that’s been followed by Justin Bieber and David Bowie – whose Paul Smith-designed Blackstar shirts went for £65 every.

Taylor Swift charges additional fan-friendly costs for her merchandise – but that wandering apostrophe may raise the price of her tour Ts for collectors.

Misprints and mistakes are significantly fascinating to “hyper-completists”, says Brent Griessle, a discography specialist at Discogs.com.

People pay high costs for a rare pressing The Beatles’ 1970 compilation album Hey Jude, wherever song titles are mistakenly listed as “Paper Back Writer” and “Revolutions” (instead of Paperback Writer and Revolution, respectively).

Collectors will pay upwards of £500 for a vinyl pressing of Rubber Soul wherever the label lists the geographically-challenged Lennon-McCartney composition “Norwegian Wood”.

“Especially with those examples, it’s one thing of an enormous value distinction for unbelievably minor things like slight spelling errors,” says Griessle – whose favorite misprints are on bootleg records like “Sexperience The Hendrix” and the timeless  “Best Of Eric Crapton”.

He says fans of artists just like Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and U2 are additional doubtless to hunt out these rarities – however “for the foremost half, the distinction between a mistake copy and a daily copy could also be negligible at the best.

“Rest assured, the number of individuals who would care about a few errata on an Andy Williams or Mantovani pop pop record is far less than the supply.”

Fans have indicated that solely a couple of Taylor Swift’s already limited-edition t-shirts contained the grammatical error, within which case, “she has positively created one thing terribly sought-after,” says Oliver.

“You may imagine a scenario wherever these are marketing for many pounds on eBay.”

And he argues the star may flip the error into a chance. “We’re in an era where, unless you’re talking concerning political misstatements, any mistake may be owned in a very means that provides it ironic worth to your fanbase.

“So for somebody like Taylor Swift, who is so good at internalizing and capitalizing on critiques of herself, there’s nearly no mistake she couldn’t address her own advantage.

“Let’s say next week there was a news article whereby some fan had paid a ridiculous quantity of cash for one of those t-shirts. My natural inclination would be to be cynical about that story,” he says, suggesting Swift’s team may flip the misprint into a promoting chance.

In many ways, that’s already happened: People are Instagramming and Tweeting (and writing news stories, natch) a few garments that otherwise would are noticed solely by hardcore Swifties.

So if you notice an upsurge in pop-based spelling mistakes within the coming weeks, now you know why.