A tale of rogue apostrophes undermines Irish council's expectations

By Max Goldbart, Friday 11 August 2017

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A Northern Irish council has been forced to shell out more than £1,000 after printing leaflets, posters and billboards for a performance of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations with an apostrophe in the wrong place.

solitude-park-banbridge-4-geograph

The performance took place in Solitude Park, Banbridge. Image: Albert Bridge

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council was attempting to advertise a free performance of a dramatisation of the Dickens classic, which took place on 21 July at Solitude Park in Banbridge, but the promotional material was printed with an apostrophe before the 's' in 'Dickens', instead of afterwards.

The BBC reported that it had to spend £332 on flyers, £295 on reprinting advertising boards, £290 on a window vinyl, £140 on correcting 48 sheets and £95 on delivering additional leaflets. PrintWeek was unable to establish who printed the materials.

A statement from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council blamed “human error” for the problem. 

“To promote our outdoor theatre production of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, we produced a variety of advertising and publicity materials to maximise public awareness of this exciting free event. Unfortunately, due simply to human error, a misplaced apostrophe was not picked up,” it said.

“Discovering the error, we weighed up whether or not to replace the material and, given that the event was a celebration of such a literary giant and in line with our own commitment to best practice, decided that it was the right thing to do.   

“We are delighted to report that the event was a huge success, with several thousand attendees enjoying the unique spectacle of Great Expectations performed in the beautiful surroundings of Solitude Park, Banbridge.” 

The incident is not the first to be reported of human error leading to forced reprints over the past couple of years. A Freedom of Information request from the Daily Mirror earlier this week found that 474,280 incorrectly printed tube maps had to be pulped last year. 

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