Visitors disembarking at the ferry terminal on the Scottish Isle of Bute are sadly no longer greeted with a Gaelic sign reading: "Welcome to Rothesay – The doorway to the beauty of Penis Island", after the local council moved swiftly to correct a balls-up and add a missing accent.
According to The Scotsman, the sign had for nine years read "Fàilte gu Baile Bhòid – An doras gu bòidhchead Eilan Bhoid", until Gaelic-speaking visitor Coinneach Combe spotted a critical omitted grave accent on the final "Bhoid".
Accordingly, instead of reading "Eilan Bhòid" ("Isle of Bute"), innocent tourists were copping an eyeful of "Eilan Bhoid" ("Penis Island").
Combe recounted: “I actually live in Johnstone in Ayrshire. I just noticed it when I went across for the Highland Games. I’m a native Gaelic speaker and I’ve seen wrong spellings before, but I was gobsmacked.”
Combe described such accent gaffes as "quite widespread". He said: "There's a similar problem with the Gaelic word for festival – fèis. Without the accent it means 'sex'."
Bute councillor Len Scoullar thundered: "It makes us look bloody stupid. I’m not a Gaelic speaker but I would apologise to people who are Gaelic speakers and we will rectify it right away."
Sure enough, an emergency grave accent deployment team was dispatched with lightning speed to correct the error, The Buteman reported.
If you're wondering just why it took nine years for someone to spot the grave error, The Scotsman noted that a 2011 census showed that roughly 1.1 per cent of Scotland's population spoke Gaelic, and a firm grip on the lingo's orthography was also required to discover Penis Island. ®