In a world of spelling and grammatical mistakes, here are two pieces of good news to raise the spirits of those who feel standards of written English are slipping…
First, if you’re on social media you can’t fail to have spotted that airline Cathay Pacific recently had to send one of its aircraft back for an expensive respray after signwriters incorrectly spelt the company’s name on the Boeing 777’s fuselage. It was spotted at Hong Kong airport with “Cathay Paciic” displayed on its side. With the lettering several feet high, as spelling mistakes go, they don’t come much bigger!
If the airline had hoped no one would notice, they will have been disappointed. As you can imagine, social media was quick to capitalise on the mishap. “No one gives an F any more, not even the painters,” one Twitter user said. “I’m sure someone will ix it,” said another. Disappointingly, the airline did not turn the spelling mistake to its advantage, as asos recently did, merely tweeting “Oops, this special livery won’t last long – she’s going back to the shop!”
Then in welcome news for defenders of the apostrophe, Cornwall Council officially declared that from now on, the place formerly known as Lands End will now have an apostrophe between the ‘d’ and ‘s’. Land’s End, as it is now correctly spelt, is the most westerly point in England and a popular tourist attraction. The vote to officially add an apostrophe in the correct place was unanimously approved following a ninety-minute debate on new ward names.
For years there has been confusion over whether the place name should have an apostrophe with some sources, such as Google, spelling it without an apostrophe and some local businesses spelling it with an apostrophe but in the wrong place (like the abomination Lands’ End)