If you’re a grammar nerd (and we are), then you’ll get it.
One of Nordstrom‘s latest offerings, the “It’s Not Me Slash Tee” by Topshop, is being advertised on its website bearing a familiar breakup phrase — except Topshop should have hired a copy editor before manufacturing the T-shirt, because it bears a grammatical error so glaring, it has us gritting our teeth.
Across the collar of the distressed pink shirt is the phrase: “its not you its me.” That’s right — for those keeping score, the contraction for “it is” is missing an apostrophe not once but twice! Instead, the phrase uses the apostrophe-free word “its,” which is the possessive form of the word “it.”
“Let him down easy with this relaxed tee made with a neckline that’s slashed on one side and quickly ends the conversation on the other,” the website description reads, making sure to use an apostrophe while combining “that” and “is.” The cotton short-sleeve crew neck may be cute, but it commits a grammatical crime too egregious to ignore. The store is charging $22 for its flawed top.
The greatest irony of the entire situation may be that bad grammar has been known to hurt your chances of getting a date, as Brit & Co. points out. “According to stats released in 2016 from Match, Grammarly, and eHarmony, your potential love interests may be just as turned off as your high school English teacher by poor spelling, grammar, and word choice,” the site says.
Topshop might take some comfort in knowing it isn’t the first brand to omit an apostrophe on graphic attire. Clothing manufacturer Tesco apologized and offered a refund to a customer who pointed out on Twitter in February that one of its kids’ shirts bore the phrase “Daddys little man,” sans apostrophe. It also happened to sell a shirt with an unforgivable spelling error: “I was born awsome [sic].”
Even Justin Bieber debuted an embarrassing misspelling on his tour merchandise last year. One of the T-shirts read, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is God’s purose [sic] that prevails.” The typo was made even worse by the fact that Bieber’s tour was, in fact, called Purpose.
Topshop has yet to issue a statement about the unfortunate error on its graphic tee, but if the brand decides to have a sense of humor about the missing punctuation mark, it might want to license rights to reproduce and sell a T-shirt by clothing manufacturer Skreened. The tee reads, “Typos hapepn.” Indeed, they “hapepn” to the best of us.
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