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Encyclopedia > Apostrophe

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Punctuation The term punctuation has two different linguistic meanings: in general, the act and the effect of punctuating, i. ...

apostrophe ( , ' )
brackets ( ), [ ], { }, < >
colon ( : )
comma ( , )
dashes ( , , , )
ellipsis ( , ... )
exclamation mark ( ! )
full stop/period ( . )
guillemets ( « » )
hyphen ( -, )
question mark ( ? )
quotation marks ( ‘ ’, “ ” )
semicolon ( ; )
slash/stroke ( / )
solidus ( )
For technical reasons, :) and some similar combinations starting with : redirect here. ... The colon (:) is a punctuation mark, visually consisting of two equally sized dots centered on the same vertical line. ... A comma ( , ) is a punctuation mark. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Distinguish from ellipse. ... an exclamation mark An exclamation mark, exclamation point or bang, !, is usually used after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feeling. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Also called angle quotes, guillemets (<< or >>) are line segments, pointed as if arrows. ... A hyphen ( -, or ‐ ) is a punctuation mark. ... The question mark(?) (also known as an interrogation point, query,[1] or eroteme) is a punctuation mark that replaces the full stop at the end of an interrogative sentence. ... Quotation marks or inverted commas (also called quotes and speech marks) are punctuation marks used in pairs to set off speech, a quotation, a phrase or a word. ... A semicolon (  ;  ) is a punctuation mark. ... A slash or stroke, /, is a punctuation mark. ... A solidus, oblique or slash, /, is a punctuation mark. ...

Interword separation

spaces ( ) ( ) ( )
interpunct ( · )
This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A space is a punctuation convention for providing interword separation in some scripts, including the Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, and Arabic. ... An interpunct is a small dot used for interword separation in ancient Latin script, being perhaps the first consistent visual representation of word boundaries in written language. ...

General typography

ampersand ( & )
asterisk ( * )
at ( @ )
backslash ( )
bullet ( )
caret ( ^ )
currency ( ¤ ) ¢, $, , £, ¥, ₩,
dagger|Obelisk ( ) ( )
degree ( ° )
dele
emoticons
inverted exclamation point ( ¡ )
inverted question mark ( ¿ )
number sign ( # )
numero sign ( )
percent and related signs
( %, ‰, ‱ )
pilcrow ( )
prime ( )
section sign ( § )
tilde/swung dash ( ~ )
umlaut/diaeresis ( ¨ )
underscore/understrike ( _ )
vertical/pipe/broken bar ( |, ¦ )
This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The roman ampersand at left is stylized, but the italic one at right reveals its origin in the Latin word An ampersand (&), also commonly called an and sign, is a logogram representing the conjunction and. ... This article refers to the typographical symbol. ... “@” redirects here. ... First introduced in 1960 by Bob Bemer, the backslash, , is a typographical mark (glyph) used chiefly in computing. ... In typography, a bullet is a typographical symbol or glyph used to introduce items in a list, like below, also known as the point of a bullet: This is the text of a list item. ... A caret in the Arial font Caret is the name for the symbol ^ in ASCII and some other character sets. ... A two cent euro coin A US penny In currency, the cent is a monetary unit that equals th of the basic unit of value. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The euro (&#8364;; ISO 4217 code EUR) is the currency of twelve of the twenty-five nations that form the European Union (and four outside it, as well as Montenegro and Kosovo), which form the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). ... The Pound sign (£) is the symbol for Pound sterling, the currency of the United Kingdom, and some other currencies of the same name in other countries. ... ¥9 Chinese price sticker ¥ is a currency sign used for the following currencies: Chinese yuan (CNY) Japanese yen (JPY) The base unit of the two currencies above share the same Chinese character (圓/元/円), pronounced yuan in Mandarin Chinese and en in Standard Japanese. ... ₩ is a currency sign that is used for the following currencies: North Korean won South Korean won Woolong, a fictional currency in Cowboy Bebop Category: ... ₪ ₪ is a currency sign that is used for the Israeli new sheqel currency which replaced the Israeli sheqel in 1985. ... A dagger (†, &dagger;, U+2020) is a typographical symbol or glyph. ... Common degree symbol This article describes the typographical or mathematical symbol. ... A dele or deleatur. ... An emoticon (pronounced (IPA) ) is a small piece of specialized ASCII art (usually two to five characters, always on a single line) used in text messages as informal markup to indicate emotions and attitudes that would be conveyed by body language in face-to-face communications. ... The inverted question mark and inverted exclamation point in Spanish, Galician and Catalan are used to begin interrogative and exclamatory sentences, respectively. ... The inverted question mark and inverted exclamation point in Spanish, Galician and Catalan are used to begin interrogative and exclamatory sentences, respectively. ... Number sign in Arial font Number sign is one name for the symbol #, and is the preferred Unicode name for the codepoint represented by that glyph. ... The Numero sign (U+2116) or Number sign is used in many languages to indicate ordinal numbering, especially in names and titles, rather than the US-derived number sign, #. For example, instead of Number 4 Privet Drive or #4 Privet Drive, one could write № 4 Privet Drive. The symbol is... The percent sign (%) is the symbol used to indicate a percentage (that the preceding number is divided by one hundred). ... A pilcrow from the font Gentium, designed by J. Victor Gaultney, 2002. ... This article is not about the symbol for the set of prime numbers, ℙ. The prime (′, Unicode U+2032, &prime;) is a symbol with many mathematical uses: A complement in set theory: A′ is the complement of the set A A point related to another (e. ... The section sign The section sign (§; Unicode U+00A7, HTML entity &sect;) is a typographical character used mainly to refer to a particular section of a document, such as a legal code. ... A tilde. ... The umlaut mark (or simply umlaut) and the trema or diaeresis mark (or simply diaeresis) are two diacritics consisting of a pair of dots placed over a letter. ... The underscore _ is the character with ASCII value 95. ... Vertical bar, verti-bar, vertical line, divider line, or pipe is the name of the character (|). Broken bar (¦) is a separate character. ...

Uncommon typography

asterism ( )
therefore sign ( )
lozenge ( )
interrobang ( )
irony mark ( ؟ )
reference mark ( )
sarcasm mark ( )
This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... In typography, an asterism is a rare symbol consisting of three asterisks placed in a triangle, used to call attention to a passage or to separate sub-chapters in a book. ...   In a mathematical proof, the therefore sign is a symbol that is sometimes placed before a logical consequence, such as the conclusion of a syllogism. ... A lozenge (â—Š) is a form of rhombus. ... The interrobang (//) () is a rarely used, nonstandard English-language punctuation mark intended to combine the functions of a question mark and an exclamation mark. ... The Irony mark (ØŸ) (French: point d’ironie) is a punctuation mark that purports to indicate that a sentence should be understood at a second level. ... This page lists Japanese typographic symbols which are not included in kana or kanji. ... A sarcasm mark, which is represented in the Ethiopic languages, also called a sarcasm point, like a non-standard androgynous pronoun, is an often desired, but non-standardized form of American English punctuation. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

The apostrophe  or  ' ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritic mark, in languages written in the Latin alphabet. In English, it has two main functions: it marks omissions; and it assists in marking the possessives of all nouns and many pronouns. (In strictly limited cases, it is sometimes also allowed to assist in marking plurals, but most authorities are now against such usage; see below.) According to the OED, the word comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία] (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía], the [accent of] "turning away", or elision), through Latin and French.[1] This article is not about the symbol for the set of prime numbers, â„™. The prime (′, Unicode U+2032, &prime;) is a symbol with many mathematical uses: A complement in set theory: A′ is the complement of the set A A point related to another (e. ... Apostrophe (from Greek αποστροφη, turning away) can refer to several things: Apostrophe ( ’ ), a form of punctuation Apostrophe (figure of speech), an address to a person or personified object not present Apostrophe (), an album by Frank Zappa Apostrophes (television), a French television show about literature Apostrophe (band), punk rock band from Turkey... The term punctuation has two different linguistic meanings: in general, the act and the effect of punctuating, i. ... A diacritical mark or diacritic, also called an accent mark, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... OED stands for Oxford English Dictionary Office of Enrollment & Discipline This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ...


The apostrophe should not be confused with the closing single quotation mark (often rendered identically but serving a quite different purpose), or with the similar-looking prime (which is used to indicate measurement in feet or arcminutes, or for various mathematical purposes). Quotation marks or inverted commas (also called quotes and speech marks) are punctuation marks used in pairs to set off speech, a quotation, a phrase or a word. ... This article is not about the symbol for the set of prime numbers, ℙ. The prime (′, Unicode U+2032, &prime;) is a symbol with many mathematical uses: A complement in set theory: A′ is the complement of the set A A point related to another (e. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... A minute of arc, arcminute, or MOA is a unit of angular measurement, equal to one sixtieth (1/60) of one degree. ...

Contents

English language usage

Possessive apostrophe

Further information: Saxon genitive

An apostrophe is used to indicate possession. The Saxon genitive is the traditional term used for the s word-ending in the English language. ...

  • For most singular nouns, the ending 's is added, e.g. the cat's whiskers.
  • When the noun is a normal plural with an added s, no extra s is added in the possessive, so pens' lids (where there is more than one pen) is correct rather than pens's lids. If the plural is not one that is formed by adding s, add an s for the possessive, after the apostrophe: children's hats, women's hairdresser, some people's eyes (but compare some peoples' recent emergence into nationhood, where peoples is meant as the plural of the singular people). These principles are universally accepted.
  • If the word ends in an s but is singular, practice varies as to whether to add 's or only an apostrophe. (For discussion on this and the following points, see below.) In general, a good practice is to follow whichever spoken form is judged best: Boss's shoes, Mrs. Jones' hat (or Mrs. Jones's hat, if that spoken form is preferred). In many cases, both spoken and written forms will differ between people.
  • Some people like to reflect standard spoken practice in special cases like these: for convenience' sake, for goodness' sake, for appearance' sake, etc. Others prefer to add 's in the standard way: for convenience's sake. Still others prefer to omit the apostrophe when there is an s sound before sake: for morality's sake, but for convenience sake.[2]
  • Compound nouns have their singular possessives formed with an apostrophe and an s at their end, in accordance with the rules given above: the Attorney-General's husband; the Minister for Justice's religion; her father-in-law's new wife. In the examples just given, the plurals are formed with an s that does not occur at the end: Attorneys-General, etc. An interesting problem therefore arises with the possessive plurals of these compounds. Sources that rule on the matter appear to favour the following forms, in which there is both an s added to form the plural, and a separate s added for the possessive: the Attorneys-General's husbands; the Ministers for Justice's religions; their fathers-in-law's new wives.[3][4]
Look up apostrophe in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
An apostrophe
An apostrophe
  • An apostrophe is used in time and money references in constructions such as one hour's respite, two weeks' holiday, a dollar's worth, five pounds' worth. Although it may not be immediately obvious, this is an ordinary possessive use. For example, one hour's respite means a respite of one hour (exactly as the cat's whiskers means the whiskers of the cat).
  • No apostrophe is used in the following possessive pronouns and adjectives: yours, his, hers, ours, its, theirs, and whose. (Many people wrongly use it's for the possessive of it; but authorities are unanimous that it's can only properly be a contraction of it is or it has.) All other possessive pronouns ending in s do take an apostrophe: one's; everyone's; somebody's, nobody else's, etc. With plural forms, the apostrophe follows the s, as with nouns: the others' husbands (but compare They all looked at each other's husbands, in which both each and other are singular).

To illustrate that possessive apostrophes matter, and that their usage affects the meaning of written English, consider these four phrases (listed in Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct), each of which has a meaning distinct from the others: Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Image File history File links Apostrophe. ... Image File history File links Apostrophe. ... Steven Pinker Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a prominent Canadian-born American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and popular science writer known for his spirited and wide-ranging advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. ... The Language Instinct is a book by Steven Pinker, published in 1995, in which he argues the case for the belief that humans are born with an innate capacity for language. ...

  • my sister's friend's investments (I have one sister and she has one friend.)
  • my sisters' friends' investments (I have many sisters and they have many friends.)
  • my sisters' friend's investments (I have many sisters and they have one friend.)
  • my sister's friends' investments (I have one sister and she has many friends.)

Kingsley Amis, on being challenged to produce a sentence whose meaning depended on a possessive apostrophe, came up with: Sir Kingsley William Amis (April 16, 1922 – October 22, 1995) was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. ...

  • "Those things over there are my husbands."

Which, if an apostrophe were added, would read "Those things over there are my husband's [items]."


Origins

The use of the apostrophe to mark the English possessive ultimately derives from the Old English genitive case, indicating possession, which often ended in the letters -es, which evolved into a simple s for the possessive ending. An apostrophe was later added to mark the omitted e; this came into general use in the 17th century. The 's ending is sometimes called the Saxon genitive, but is now generally considered a clitic. Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... The genitive case is a grammatical case that indicates a relationship, primarily one of possession, between the noun in the genitive case and another noun. ... The Saxon genitive is the traditional term used for the s word-ending in the English language. ... In linguistics, a clitic is an element that has some of the properties of an independent word and some more typical of a bound morpheme. ...


Singular nouns ending in s, z, or x

Respected sources require that almost all singular nouns, including those ending in s, z, or x, have possessive forms with an extra s after the apostrophe. Examples include the Modern Language Association, The Elements of Style, The Economist, and Purdue University's Online Writing Lab. Such sources would demand possessive singulars like these: Senator Jones's umbrella; Mephistopheles's cat. The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd ed. ... The Elements of Style, 2000 edition. ...


Rules that modify or extend this principle have included the following:

  • If the singular possessive is difficult or awkward to pronounce with an added s sound, do not add an extra s; these exceptions are supported by University of Delaware, The Guardian, Emory University's writing center, and The American Heritage Book of English Usage. Such sources permit possessive singulars like these: Socrates' later suggestion; James's house, or James' house, depending on which pronunciation is intended.
  • Classical, biblical, and similar names ending in an s sound, especially if they are polysyllabic, do not take an added s in the possessive; among sources giving exceptions of this kind are The Times, which makes a general stipulation, and Vanderbilt University, which mentions only Moses and Jesus. As a particular case, Jesus' is very commonly written instead of Jesus's, even by people who would otherwise add 's in, for example, James's or Chris's; Jesus' is referred to as "an accepted liturgical archaism" in Hart's Rules. See Possessive of Jesus.

Similar examples of notable names ending in an s that are often given a possessive apostrophe with no additional s include Dickens and Williams. There is often a policy of leaving off the additional s on any such name, but this can prove problematic when specific names are contradictory (for example, St James' Park in Newcastle [the football ground] and the area of St James's Park in London). For more details on practice with geographic names, see the relevant section below. A syllable (Ancient Greek: ) is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Harts Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford is a reference book and style guide first published in 1893. ... The possessive of Jesus is the way in which the name Jesus is formed in the possessive or genitive case. ... St James Park is an all-seater stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and is the home of Newcastle United Football Club. ... This article is about a city in the United Kingdom. ... St. ... For the prime symbol (′) used for feet and inches, see Prime (symbol). ...


The English possessive of French names ending in a silent s is rendered differently by different authorities. Some prefer Descartes' and Dumas', while others insist on Descartes's and Dumas's. Certainly an s sound (or strictly a z sound, with Dumas) is pronounced in these cases; the theoretical question is whether the existing s is the one that is sounded, or whether another s needs to be supplied. A similar problem arises with French names ending in silent x. Many authorities prescribe possessives with an added s: Sauce Périgueux's main ingredient is truffle; but an apostrophe alone is also acceptable. For possessive plurals of words ending in silent x or s, the few authorities that address the issue at all call for an added s, and require that the apostrophe precede the s: The Loucheux's homeland is in the Yukon; Compare the two Dumas's literary achievements. As usual in punctuation, the best advice is to respect soundly established practice, and beyond that to strive for simplicity, logic, and especially consistency.


Possessives in geographic names

United States place names generally do not use the possessive apostrophe. The United States Board on Geographic Names, which has responsibility for formal naming of municipalities and geographic features, has deprecated the use of possessive apostrophes since 1890. Only five names of natural features in the U.S. are officially spelled with a genitive apostrophe (one example being Martha's Vineyard). On the other hand, Britain has Bishop's Stortford, Bishop's Castle and King's Lynn (but St Albans, St Andrews and St Helens) and, while Newcastle United play at St James' Park, and Exeter City at St James Park, London has a St James's Park (this whole area of London is named after St James's Church, Piccadilly[5]). The special circumstances of the latter case may be this: the customary pronunciation of this place name is reflected in the addition of an extra -s; since usage is firmly against a doubling of the final -s without an apostrophe, this place name has an apostrophe. This could be regarded as an example of a double genitive: it refers to the park of the church of St James. None of this detracts from the fact that omission of the apostrophe in geographical names is becoming a clear standard in most English-speaking countries, including Britain and Australia.[dubious ] The United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is an American federal body whose purpose is to establish and maintain uniform usage of geographic names throughout the U.S. government. ... Map of Marthas Vineyard. ... Windhill Corn Exchange Bishops Stortford is a market town in east Hertfordshire, England, just touching the border with Essex. ... Bishops Castle is a small market town in Shropshire, England, and formerly its smallest borough. ... Kings Lynn as viewed from across the River Great Ouse Kings Lynn is a town and port in the English county of Norfolk. ... St Albans is the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans in southern Hertfordshire, England, around 22 miles (35. ... For other uses, see St Andrews (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Newcastle United Football Club are an English professional football team based in Newcastle upon Tyne. ... St James Park is an all-seater stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and is the home of Newcastle United Football Club. ... Exeter City F.C. is an English football club, based in Exeter, who have played in the English Football League for most of its history, but now play in the Nationwide Conference. ... For the park in London, see St Jamess Park; for the football stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, see St James Park. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... St. ... St Jamess in 1815. ...


Possessives in business names

Where a business name is based on a family name, it may or may not take an apostrophe (compare Sainsbury's and Harrods), though in recent times there has been an increasing tendency to drop the apostrophe. Names based on a first name are more likely to take an apostrophe (Joe's Crab Shack). The Apostrophe Protection Society has campaigned for large retailers such as Harrods, Currys and Selfridges to reinstate their missing punctuation. A spokesperson for Barclays plc stated, "It has just disappeared over the years. Barclays is no longer associated with the family name."[6] J Sainsbury plc is the parent company of Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd, commonly known as Sainsburys, a chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Currys is an electrical retailer in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and is owned by DSG International plc. ... Selfridges in Birmingham. ... Big Building One Churchill Place, Canary Wharf Barclays PLC (LSE: BARC, NYSE: BCS, TYO: 8642 ) is a global financial services provider operating in the UK, Europe, United States, Middle East, Latin America, Australasia, Asia and Africa. ...


Apostrophe showing omission

An apostrophe is commonly used to indicate omitted characters:

  • It is used in abbreviations, as gov't for government, or '70s for 1970s. In modern usage, apostrophes are generally omitted when letters are removed from the start of a word. For example, it is not common to write 'bus, 'phone, 'net. However, if the shortening is unusual, dialectal or archaic, the apostrophe may still be used to mark it (e.g., 'bout for about, 'less for unless, 'twas for it was). Sometimes a misunderstanding of the original form of a word results in an incorrect contraction. A common example: 'til for until, though till is in fact the original form, and until is derived from it.
  • It is used in contractions, such as can't from cannot, it's from it is or it has, and I'll from I will or I shall.
  • In certain colloquial contexts an apostrophe's function as possessive or contractive can depend on other punctuation.
  • We rehearsed for Friday's opening night. (We rehearsed for the opening night on Friday.)
  • We rehearsed, for Friday's opening night. (We rehearsed because Friday is opening night.)

This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In traditional grammar, a contraction is the formation of a new word from two or more individual words. ...

Use in forming certain plurals

An apostrophe is used by some writers to form a plural for abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols where adding just s rather than 's may leave things ambiguous or inelegant. While British English formerly endorsed the use of such apostrophes after numbers and dates, this usage has now largely been superseded. Some specific cases: Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ... British English (BrE, en-GB) is a broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere. ...

  • It is generally acceptable to use apostrophes to show plurals of single lower-case letters, such as be sure to dot your i's and cross your t's. Some style guides would prefer to use a change of font: dot your is and cross your ts. Upper case letters need no apostrophe as there is no risk of misreading: I got three As in my exams.[7]
  • For groups of years, the apostrophe at the end cannot be regarded as necessary, since there is no possibility of misreading. For this reason, most authorities prefer 1960s to 1960's[7] (although the latter is noted by at least one source as acceptable in American usage),[8] and 90s or '90s to 90's or '90's.
  • The apostrophe is sometimes used in forming the plural of numbers (for example, 1000's of years); however, as with groups of years, it is unnecessary: there is no possibility of misreading. Most sources are against this usage.
  • The apostrophe is often used in plurals of symbols. Again, since there can be no misreading, this is also wrong.[7] That page has too many &s and #s on it.
  • Finally, a few sources accept its use in an alternative spelling of the plurals of a very few short words, such as do, ex, yes, no, which become do's, ex's, etc.[9] In each case, dos, exes, yeses (or yesses) and noes would be preferred by most authorities. Nevertheless, many writers are still inclined to use such an apostrophe when the word is thought to look awkward or unusual without one.

Use in non-English names

  • Irish surnames often contain an apostrophe after an O, for example O'Reilly. This arose from a rendering of the Irish Ó.
  • Some Scottish and Irish surnames use an apostrophe after an M, for example M'Gregor. The apostrophe here may be seen as marking a contraction where the prefix Mc or Mac would normally appear. (Note, however, that in earlier and meticulous current usage, it is – a kind of reversed apostrophe that is sometimes called a turned comma, which eventually came to be written as the letter c, whose shape is similar.)
  • French and Italian surnames sometimes contain apostrophes, e.g. D'Angelo. Other times, foreign names that would have used an accented character have an apostrophe substituted, e.g. DuPre' for du Pré.[citation needed]
  • In science fiction, the apostrophe is often used to decorate alien names.

A formal Irish-language name consists of a given name and a surname, as in English. ... Scots refers to the Anglic varieties spoken in parts of Scotland. ... A family name, or surname, is that part of a persons name that indicates to what family he or she belongs. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ...

Non-standard English use

Greengrocers' apostrophes

Sign to Green Craigs housing development.
Sign to Green Craigs housing development.

Apostrophes used incorrectly to form plurals are known as greengrocers' apostrophes (or grocers' apostrophes, or sometimes humorously greengrocers apostrophe's). The practice comes from the identical sound of the plural and possessive forms of most English nouns. It is often considered a form of hypercorrection coming from a widespread ignorance of the proper use of the apostrophe or of punctuation in general. Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, points out that before the 19th Century, it was standard orthography to use the apostrophe to form a plural of a foreign-sounding word that ended in a vowel (e.g. banana's, folio's, logo's, quarto's, pasta's, ouzo's) to clarify pronunciation. Truss says this usage is no longer considered proper in formal writing.[10] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1353x2139, 172 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Apostrophe ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1353x2139, 172 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Apostrophe ... Noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is a short non-fiction book written by Lynne Truss, the former host of the BBCs Cutting a Dash radio programme. ...


It is believed that the term was first coined in the middle of the twentieth century by a teacher of languages working in Liverpool, at a time when such mistakes were common in the handwritten signs and advertisements of greengrocers, e.g., "Apple's 1/- a pound, orange's 1/6d a pound". In recent years, this misuse has become increasingly frequent in other forms of advertisement, particularly those of small businesses, e.g., from Hackney Market in London, UK: "Christmas Card's". Some have argued that its use in mass communication by employees of well-known companies has led to the less grammatically able assuming it to be correct and adopting the habit themselves.[11] Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. ... A greengrocer in central Milan with a sign in Milanese, the local dialect, claiming to be the oldest greengrocer of Milan (lortolán pü&#349;ee vêcc de Milan) A greengrocer is a retail trader in fruit and vegetables; that is, in green groceries. ... Before decimalisation in 1971, a shilling had a value of 12d (old pence), and was equal to 1/20th of a pound: there were 240 (old) pence to the pound. ... For the NBA basketball player with the nickname see Penny Hardaway A variety of low value coins, including an Irish 2p piece and many U.S. pennies. ...


The same error is sometimes made by non-native speakers of English, and this hyperforeignism has been formalised in some pseudo-anglicisms. For example, the French word pin's (from English pin) is used (with the apostrophe in both singular and plural) for collectible lapel pins. Also, there is an Andorran football club called FC Rànger's (after such British clubs as Rangers F.C.). This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... A collectible (or collectable) is typically a manufactured item designed for people to collect. ... The word lapel can mean:- In standard office-type jackets, each of the two triangular pieces of cloth which are folded back below the throat, leaving a triangular opening between. ... Look up pin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Football in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... FC Ràngers is an Andorran football team which plays in the Andorran First Division. ... Rangers Football Club is a football club from Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premier League. ...




Omitting the apostrophe

While the greengrocers' apostrophe is more likely to be found within small businesses, the UK's largest supermarket chain, Tesco, has a habit of omitting the mark where it should be included. Its in-store signage advertises (among other items) "mens magazines", "girls toys", "kids books" and "womens shoes". The author Bill Bryson lambasts Tesco for this reason in his book Troublesome Words, stating, "The mistake is inexcusable and those who make it are linguistic Neanderthals." Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Tesco plc is a UK-based international grocery and general merchandising retail chain. ... William Bill McGuire Bryson, OBE, (born December 8, 1951) is a best-selling American-born author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on scientific subjects. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


George Bernard Shaw, a proponent of English spelling reform on phonetic principles, argued that the apostrophe was mostly redundant. He did not use it for spelling "cant" or "hes" when writing Pygmalion. He did however allow "I'm" and "it's".[12] Lewis Carroll made greater use of apostrophes, and frequently used "ca'n't" and "sha'n't".[13] Neither author's use has become widespread. George Bernard Shaw (born 26 July 1856, Dublin, Ireland died November 2, 1950, Hertfordshire, England) was an Irish writer. ... Spelling reform generally attempts to introduce a logical structure connecting the spelling and pronunciation of words. ... Play cover, depicting Mrs Campbell as Eliza Pygmalion (1913) is a play by George Bernard Shaw based on Ovids tale of Pygmalion. ... Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) - believed to be a self-portrait Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman, and photographer. ...


Other abuses

The British pop group Hear'Say [sic] famously made unconventional use of an apostrophe in its name. In her book Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss states that "the naming of Hear'Say in 2001 was [...] a significant milestone on the road to punctuation anarchy." This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Other languages

An apostrophe in Braille
An apostrophe in Braille

Image File history File links Braille_Apostrophe. ... Image File history File links Braille_Apostrophe. ... Braille code where the word (, French for first) can be read. ...

As a mark of elision

In many languages, especially European languages, the apostrophe is used to indicate the elision of one or more sounds, as in English. For example: In music, see elision (music). ...

  • In Afrikaans it is used to show that letters have been omitted from words. The most common use is in the indefinite article 'n which is a contraction of een meaning 'one' (the number). As the initial 'e' is omitted and cannot be capitalised, if a sentence begins with 'n the second word in the sentence is capitalised. For example: 'n Boek is groen. "A book is green."
  • In Danish, where some very common words having pronunciation that does not match the spelling, rendering it in writing is informal, yet wildly popular in all kinds of written commercial materials. Thus, one can readily see Ta' mig med ("Take me with [you]") next to a stand with advertisement leaflets; that would be written Tag mig med in standard orthography. As in German, the apostrophe must not be used to indicate possessive, except for when there's already an s present in the base form, as in Lukas' bog. Sometimes an apostrophe is also used to join the enclitic definite article to words of foreign origin, or other words which would otherwise look awkward. Thus, one would write IP'en to mean "the IP address". There's some variation in what is considered "awkward enough" to warrant an apostrophe, for instance, long-established words such as firma (company) or niveau (level) might be written firma'et and niveau'et, but will generally be seen without an apostrophe.
  • In the Dutch language, it is also used to indicate omitted characters. For example, the indefinite article een can be shortened to 'n, the definite article het can be shortened to 't. When this happens with the first word of a sentence, only the second word of the sentence is capitalised. In general, this way of using the apostrophe is considered non-standard, except for 's morgens, 's middags, 's avonds, 's nachts (des morgens/middags/avonds/nachts: at morning/afternoon/evening/night). In addition, however, the apostrophe is used for plurals where the singulars end with certain vowels, e.g. foto's, taxi's, and for the genitive of proper names ending with these vowels, e.g. Anna's, Otto's. These are in fact elided vowels; use of the apostrophe prevents spellings like fotoos and Annaas.
  • In the French phrases coup d'état and maître d'hôtel (the latter often shortened to maître d', when used by English speakers), the vowel in the preposition de (of) is elided because the word which follows it also starts with a vowel, or a silent consonant followed by a vowel. This is common in Italian and Catalan, too.
  • In German, this is very similar: an apostrophe is used almost exclusively to indicate omitted letters. It must not be used for plurals or most of the possessive forms (Max' Vater being an exception, for instance), both usages which are widespread, but deemed wrong. (See article Apostrophitis in the German Wikipedia.)

Look up Wiktionary:Swadesh lists for Afrikaans and Dutch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Commercialism redirects here. ... In linguistics, a clitic is a morpheme that functions syntactically like a word, but does not appear as an independent phonological word; instead it is always attached to a following or preceding word. ... Definite Article is the title of British comedian Eddie Izzards 1996 performance released on video and CD. The video/DVD and CD performances were both recorded on different nights at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London, England. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Dutch (  ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people, mainly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Suriname, but also by smaller groups of speakers in parts of France, Germany and several former Dutch colonies. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... // A coup dÉtat (pronounced ), or simply coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, often through illegal means by a part of the state establishment — mostly replacing just the high-level figures. ... The maître d (short for maître dhôtel, literally master of the hall) in a suitably staffed restaurant is the person in charge of assigning customers to tables in the establishment, and dividing the dining area into areas of responsibility for the various servers on duty. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia (in the latter with the name of Valencian), and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of...

To separate morphemes

Some languages use the apostrophe to separate the root of a word from its affixes, especially if the root is a foreign, unassimilated word. The root is the primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents. ... Look up affix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

  • In Estonian, apostrophes can be used in the declension of some foreign names to separate the stem from any declension endings; e.g., Monet' or Monet'sse for the genitive case and illative case, respectively, for (the famous painter) "Monet".
  • In Polish, apostrophe is used exclusively for marking inflection of words and word-alike elements (ie. acronyms) whose spelling conflicts with normal rules of which inflection form to choose, this mainly affects foreign words and names. Thus, for instance, one would write Kampania Ala Gore'a for "Al Gore's campaign". In this example, "Ala" is spelt without an apostrophe, as its spelling and pronunciation fit into normal Polish rules. "Gore'a", however, needs it, as "e" disappears from the pronunciation, changing its inflection pattern. There is a widespread misunderstanding of this rule, which would rather have apostrophe after all foreign words, regardless of their pronunciation, thus rendering the above into (incorrect) Kampania Al'a Gore'a. This effect is somewhat akin to the greengrocers' apostrophes (see above).
  • In Turkish, proper nouns are capitalized and an apostrophe is inserted between the noun and any following suffix, e.g. New York'da "in New York", in contrast with okulda "in the school".

In linguistics, declension is the inflection of nouns, pronouns and adjectives to indicate such features as number (typically singular vs. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... Illative case in the Finno-Ugric languages Illative (from Latin inferre to bring in) is, in the Finnish language, Estonian language and the Hungarian language, the third of the locative cases with the basic meaning of into (the inside of). An example from Hungarian would be a házba (into... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ... Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. ... Noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... Look up Suffix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

As a mark of palatalization

Some languages and transliteration systems use the apostrophe to mark the presence, or the lack of palatalization. Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. ... Palatalization means pronouncing a sound nearer to the hard palate, making it more like a palatal consonant; this is towards the front of the mouth for a velar or uvular consonant, but towards the back of the mouth for a front (e. ...

  • In the Belarusian and Ukrainian languages, the apostrophe is used between a consonant and the following "soft" (iotified) vowel (е, ё, є, ю, я) to indicate that no palatalization of the preceding consonant takes place, and the vowel is pronounced in the same way as at the beginning of the word. The same function is served by the hard sign in some other Cyrillic alphabets.
  • In some transliterations from the Cyrillic alphabet (of Belarusian, Russian, or Ukrainian language), the apostrophe is used to replace the soft sign (ь, indicating palatalization of the preceding consonant), e.g., Русь is transliterated Rus' according to the BGN/PCGN system. Confusingly, some of these transliteration schemes use a double apostrophe ( " ) to represent the apostrophe in Cyrillic text, e.g. Ukrainian слов'янське ("Slavic") is transliterated as slov"yans'ke.
  • Some Karelian orthographies use an apostrophe to indicate palatalization, e.g. n'evvuo "to give advice", d'uuri "just (like)", el'vüttiä "to revive".

Ukrainian (украї́нська мо́ва, ukrayinska mova, ) is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. ... Iotation is a form of palatalisation which occurs in Slavic languages. ... The letter (&#1066;, &#1098;) of the Cyrillic alphabet is known as the hard sign (&#1090;&#1074;&#1105;&#1088;&#1076;&#1099;&#1081; &#1079;&#1085;&#1072;&#1082; ) in the modern Russian alphabet and as er golyam (&#1077;&#1088; &#1075;&#1086;&#1083;&#1103;&#1084;, big yer) in the Bulgarian alphabet. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced also called azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is an alphabet used for several East and South Slavic languages—Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian—and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe. ... Ukrainian (украї́нська мо́ва, ukrayinska mova, ) is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. ... Soft Sign (Ь, ÑŒ) is a letter in the Cyrillic alphabet (Russian: мягкий знак (mÄ­ahkiy znak) [], Ukrainian: м’який знак (miakyy znak) [], Belarusian: мяккі знак (miakki znak) []). It is named so because it usually indicates softening, or palatalization, of the preceding consonant or of the group of them. ... Coat of arms Map of the Kievan Rus′, 11th century Capital Kiev Religion Orthodox Christianity Government Monarchy Historical era Middle Ages  - Established 9th century  - Disestablished 12th century Currency Hryvnia Kievan Rus′ was an early, mostly East Slavic[1] state dominated by the city of Kiev from about 880 to the... BGN/PCGN romanization refers to the systems for romanization (transliteration into the Latin alphabet) and Roman-script spelling conventions adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) and the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use (PCGN). ... The Karelian language is a variety closely related to Finnish, with which it is not necessarily mutually intelligible. ...

As a glottal stop

Other languages and transliteration systems use the apostrophe as a letter, denoting the glottal stop. The glottal stop or voiceless glottal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. ...

  • Guarani, where it is called puso /puˈso/, as in the words ñe'ẽ, ka'a, a' ỹ.
  • Hawaiian, where is it called the ʻokina (ʻ), often rendered as ('), and considered a letter of the alphabet.

The apostrophe represents sounds similar to the glottal stop in the Turkic languages and in romanizations of Arabic. Sometimes this function is performed by the opening single quotation mark. Guaraní (local name: avañeẽ ) is an Amerindian language of South America that belongs to the Tupí-Guaraní subfamily. ... The Hawaiian language is an Austronesian language that takes its name from that of the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. ... The glottal stop is used in many Polynesian languages and known under various names as for instance: // Encoding and displaying the Polynesian glottal Old conventions In plain ASCII the glottal is sometimes represented by the apostrophe character (), ASCII value 39 in decimal and 27 in hexadecimal, which in most fonts... Tetum (also written as Tetun) is an Austronesian language, and one of its forms, Tetum- Praca, is one of the national languages of East Timor. ... The Tupi language group consists of 6 languages in the Tupi-Guarani sublanguage family: Tupi Antigo, Nhengatu, Tupinkin, Potiguara, Omagua, and Cocoma. ... The Klingon language (tlhIngan Hol in Klingon) is the constructed language spoken by Klingons in the fictional Star Trek universe. ... The Turkic languages constitute a language family of some thirty languages, spoken across a vast area from Eastern Europe to Siberia and Western China with an estimated 140 million native speakers and tens of millions of second-language speakers. ... In linguistics, romanization (or Latinization, also spelled romanisation or Latinisation) is the representation of a word or language with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ... Quotation marks or inverted commas (also called quotes and speech marks) are punctuation marks used in pairs to set off speech, a quotation, a phrase or a word. ...


Other uses

  • In the Czech and Slovak languages, common typographic rendering (at least for some typefaces) of caron over lowercase t, d, l, and uppercase L consonants (ď, ť, ľ, Ľ) looks a lot like an apostrophe, but it is incorrect to use apostrophe instead (compare previous example with incorrect d', t', l', L' or d', t', l', L'). In Slovak, there is also l with acute accent (ĺ, Ĺ). In Slovak, it is used to indicate elision in certain words (tys' as an abbreviated form of ty si), however, these elisions are restricted to poetry.
  • In Finnish, one of the consonant gradation patterns is the change of a 'k' into a hiatus, e.g. keko → keon "a pile → pile's". This hiatus has to be indicated in spelling with an apostrophe, if a long vowel or a diphthong would be immediately followed by the final vowel, e.g. ruoko → ruo'on, vaaka → vaa'an. (This is in contrast to compound words, where the same problem is solved with a hyphen, e.g. maa-ala "land area".) The same meaning for an apostrophe, a hiatus, is used in poetry to indicate contractions, e.g. miss' on for missä on "where is".
  • In Jèrriais, one of the uses of the apostrophe is to mark gemination, or consonant length. For example, t't represents /tː/, s's /sː/, n'n /nː/, th'th /ðː/, and ch'ch /ʃː/ (as contrasted to /t/, /s/, /n/, /ð/, and /ʃ/).
  • In the Hànyǔ Pīnyīn system of romanization for Standard Mandarin (the main Chinese language), the apostrophe is sometimes used to separate syllables in a word where ambiguity could arise. Example: the standard romanization for the name of the city Xi'an includes an apostrophe to distinguish it from a single-syllable word xian.
  • In Hebrew, the apostrophe is used to modify letters to make sounds that Hebrew has no letters for. Sounds such as "j", "th", and "ch" are made from ג, ת, and צ with an apostrophe (or chupchik). Thus, the name Jarred can be spelled ג'רד in Hebrew.

This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... See also consonance in music. ... In music, see elision (music). ... Consonant gradation is a type of consonant mutation, in which consonants alternate between various grades. It is found in some Finno-Lappic languages such as Finnish, Estonian and Sámi; moreover, the Votic language is known for its extensive set of gradation patterns. ... Hiatus in linguistics is the separate pronunciation of two adjacent vowels, sometimes with an intervening glottal stop. ... A hyphen ( -, or ‐ ) is a punctuation mark. ... Hiatus in linguistics is the separate pronunciation of two adjacent vowels, sometimes with an intervening glottal stop. ... Jèrriais is the form of the Norman language spoken in Jersey, in the Channel Islands. ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-07-20, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ), commonly called Pinyin, is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... In linguistics, romanization (or Latinization, also spelled romanisation or Latinisation) is the representation of a word or language with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system. ... Standard Mandarin – also known as Standard Chinese or Standard spoken Chinese – is the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Singapore. ... Xian (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsi-An; Postal System Pinyin: Sian), is the capital of Shaanxi province in China and a sub-provincial city. ... The word Hebrew most likely means to cross over, referring to the Semitic people crossing over the Euphrates River. ...

Typographic form

The form of the apostrophe originates in manuscript writing, as a point with a downwards tail curving clockwise. This form was originally inherited by the typeset apostrophe (  ). Later sans-serif typefaces had stylized apostrophes with a more geometric or simplified form, but usually retaining the same directional bias as a closing quotation mark. A manuscript (Latin manu scriptus, written by hand), strictly speaking, is any written document that is put down by hand, in contrast to being printed or reproduced some other way. ... Typesetting involves the presentation of textual material in an aesthetic form on paper or some other media. ... In typography, serifs are the small features at the end of strokes within letters. ...


With the invention of the typewriter, a neutral quotation mark form ( ' ) was created to economize on the keyboard, by using a single key to represent the apostrophe, both opening and closing single quotation marks, and single primes. This neutral quote character was inherited by computer keyboards, as well as in early computer encoding for text, notably by ASCII encoding which is the basis for computer representation of Latin-alphabet text. Mechanical desktop typewriters, such as this Underwood Five, were long time standards of government agencies, newsrooms, and sales offices. ... Quotation marks or inverted commas (also called quotes and speech marks) are punctuation marks used in pairs to set off speech, a quotation, a phrase or a word. ... This article is not about the symbol for the set of prime numbers, â„™. The prime (′, Unicode U+2032, &prime;) is a symbol with many mathematical uses: A complement in set theory: A′ is the complement of the set A A point related to another (e. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ...


Computers and Unicode

The typographic apostrophe (  ) was implemented in the Apple Macintosh operating system's Mac Roman character set in 1984, able to be typed with the use of modifier keys, and later in the CP1252 encoding of Microsoft Windows. With the spread of Unicode support in computer operating systems and Internet software, the typographic apostrophe can be used nearly anywhere, but because of its absence from the computer keyboard it is still seen mainly in professional typesetting and graphic design. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Mac OS Roman character set Mac-Roman encoding is a one byte character encoding system, traditionally used by Mac OS. In Mac OS X, it has been replaced with Unicode. ... ISO 8859-1, more formally cited as ISO/IEC 8859-1 or less formally as Latin-1, is part 1 of ISO/IEC 8859, a standard character encoding defined by ISO. It encodes what it refers to as Latin alphabet no. ... Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ...


There are three types of apostrophe character in Unicode: Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ...

  • ' ) Vertical typewriter apostrophe (Unicode name "apostrophe" or "apostrophe-quote"), Unicode and ASCII character 39, or hexadecimal U+0027.
  •  ) Punctuation apostrophe ("right single quotation mark" or "single comma quotation mark"), U+2019. Serves as both an apostrophe and closing single quotation mark.
  •  ) Letter apostrophe ("modifier letter apostrophe"), U+02BC. "Preferred where the apostrophe is to represent a modifier letter (for example, in transliterations to indicate a glottal stop)."[14] Rendered identically to the "punctuation apostrophe" in the Unicode code charts.[15]

In most cases, the preferred apostrophe character is the punctuation apostrophe (distinguished as typographic, or curly apostrophe). But historically, only the vertical typewriter apostrophe has been present on computer keyboards and in 7-bit ASCII character encoding. The typographic apostrophe is in different positions of the many 8-bit encodings. Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... In mathematics and computer science, hexadecimal, base-16, or simply hex, is a numeral system with a radix, or base, of 16, usually written using the symbols 0–9 and A–F, or a–f. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... A character encoding or character set (sometimes referred to as code page) consists of a code that pairs a sequence of characters from a given set with something else, such as a sequence of natural numbers, octets or electrical pulses, in order to facilitate the storage of text in computers...


So in practice, the typewriter apostrophe is much more commonly used by writers and editors. For the same historic reasons, the typewriter apostrophe is a highly overloaded character position. In ASCII, it represents a right single quotation mark, left single quotation mark, apostrophe punctuation, vertical line, or prime (punctuation marks) or an apostrophe modifier or acute accent (modifier letters).


In some cases an apostrophe is not considered punctuation which separates letters, but as a letter in its own right; a letter apostrophe. Examples are in some national languages where the apostrophe is considered a letter (e.g., the Cyrillic Azerbaijani alphabet), or in some transliterations (e.g., transliterated Arabic glottal stop, hamza, or transliterated Cyrillic soft sign). As the letter apostrophe is seldom used in practice, the Unicode standard cautions that one should never assume text is coded thus. The Cyrillic alphabet (or azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is an alphabet used for several East and South Slavic languages; (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian) and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe. ... In Azerbaijan, two alphabets are employed for writing the Azerbaijani language: variations on the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. ... Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. ... The glottal stop or voiceless glottal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. ... Soft Sign (Ь, ь) is a letter in the Cyrillic alphabet (Russian: мягкий знак (mĭahkiy znak) [], Ukrainian: м’який знак (miakyy znak) [], Belarusian: мяккі знак (miakki znak) []). It is named so because it usually indicates softening, or palatalization, of the preceding consonant or of the group of them. ...


The Nenets language has single and double letter apostrophes: Nenets (autonym: ненёця вада) is a language spoken by the Nenets people in northern Russia. ...

  • ˮ ) Double letter apostrophe (Unicode name "modifier letter double apostrophe"), U+02EE.

Entering apostrophes

During text entry on computers, some programs automatically convert to the appropriate apostrophe or quotation mark characters; the so-called "smart quotes" feature. Apostrophes and quotation marks that are not automatically altered by computer programs are known as "dumb quotes". Such conversion can be provided by word processing software as you type, or on web servers after submitting text in a form field, e.g., on weblogs or free encyclopedias. Many such software programs incorrectly enter an opening quotation mark for a leading apostrophe (e.g., in abbreviations of years: 04 rather than the correct 04 for 2004), or an apostrophe for a prime (e.g., latitude 49° 53' 08" rather than the correct 49° 53′ 08″).


A useful quick solution to get such cases right in Microsoft Word is to type two apostrophes (sometimes using a space as well, as required), and then simply delete the first. Microsoft Word is a word processing application from Microsoft. ...


On Microsoft Windows, Unicode special characters can be entered explicitly by holding the ALT key and typing the four-digit decimal code position of the character. An apostrophe is entered by holding alt while typing 8217 on the numeric keypad (at the right side of a standard keyboard). (Typing a three-digit code will enter a character value in the current code page, which may not correspond to its Unicode value.) Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ... Code page is the traditional IBM term used for a specific character encoding table: a mapping in which a sequence of bits, usually a single octet representing integer values 0 through 255, is associated with a specific character. ...


On the Apple Macintosh, special characters are typed while holding down the option key, or option and shift keys together. In Macintosh English-language keyboard layouts, an apostrophe is typed with the shortcut option-shift-] . The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ...


In publishing, typewriter apostrophes are generally converted to typographic apostrophes. Because of the egalitarian nature of electronic publishing, and the low resolution of computer monitors in comparison to print, typewriter apostrophes have been considered much more tolerable on the Web. However, due to the wide adoption of the Unicode text encoding standard, near-universal Web browser support, higher-resolution displays, and advanced anti-aliasing of text in modern operating systems, the use of typographic apostrophes is becoming common on Web sites by discerning designers. Unfortunately, such use is not always done in accordance with the standards for character sets and encodings, as mentioned more fully below. “Publisher” redirects here. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... In digital signal processing, anti-aliasing is the technique of minimizing the distortion artifacts known as aliasing when representing a high-resolution signal at a lower resolution. ...


Eight-bit encodings

Older 8-bit character encodings, such as ISO-8859-1, Windows CP1252, or MacRoman, universally support the typewriter apostrophe in the same position, 39, inherited from ASCII (as does Unicode). But most of them place the typographic apostrophe in different positions. ISO-8859-1, the most common encoding used for web pages, omits the typographic apostrophe altogether. ISO 8859-1, more formally cited as ISO/IEC 8859-1 or less formally as Latin-1, is part 1 of ISO/IEC 8859, a standard character encoding defined by ISO. It encodes what it refers to as Latin alphabet no. ...


Microsoft Windows CP1252 (sometimes incorrectly called ANSI or ISO-Latin) is a duplicate of ISO-8859-1, with 27 additional characters in the place of control characters (in the range from 128 to 159). Microsoft software usually treats ISO-8859-1 as if it were CP1252. The wide adoption of Microsoft's web browser and web server has forced many other software makers to adopt this as a de facto convention—in some cases contravening established standards unnecessarily (e.g., some applications use CP1252 character values in HTML numeric references, where Unicode values are required, and would be sufficient for interoperation with MS software). Consequently, the typographic apostrophe and several other characters are handled inconsistently by web browsers and other software, and can cause interoperation problems. ISO 8859-1, more formally cited as ISO/IEC 8859-1 or less formally as Latin-1, is part 1 of ISO/IEC 8859, a standard character encoding defined by ISO. It encodes what it refers to as Latin alphabet no. ...


References

  1. ^ "The English form apostrophe is due to its adoption via French, and its current pronunciation as four syllables is due to a confusion with the rhetorical device apostrophé" (W. S. Allen, Vox Graeca. The pronunciation of classical Greek, 3rd edition, 1988. Cambridge university press, Cambridge, p. 100, note 13).
  2. ^ DummiesWorld Wide Words. Retrieved on 2007-03-13.. Chicago Manual of Style, 7.22: "For...sake expressions traditionally omit the s when the noun ends in an s or an s sound." Oxford Style Manual, 5.2.1: "Use an apostrophe alone after singular nouns ending in an s or z sound and combined with sake: for goodness' sake ...".
  3. ^ Style Guide, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/bjssg.pdf
  4. ^ The United States Government Printing Office Style Manual 2000, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/stylemanual/2000/chapter_txt-8.html
  5. ^ St James's Church Piccadilly website
  6. ^ Times Online: Harrods told to put its apostrophe back.
  7. ^ a b c Purdue University Online Writing Lab: The Apostrophe. Retrieved on 2007-03-13.
  8. ^ Guide to Punctuation, Larry Trask, University of Sussex: "American usage, however, does put an apostrophe here: (A) This research was carried out in the 1970's."
  9. ^ AskOxford.com
  10. ^ Truss, Lynn. Eats, Shoots & Leaves. pp. 63-5.
  11. ^ Christina Cavella and Robin A. Kernodle. "How the Past Affects the Future: The Story of the Apostrophe" (PDF). American University. Retrieved on 2006-10-26.
  12. ^ http://www.wwnorton.com/nto/20century/topic_4/shaw.htm
  13. ^ http://www.dace.co.uk/apostrophe.htm
  14. ^ The Unicode Standard 5.0, Chapter 6, "Writing Systems and Punctuation"
  15. ^ Unicode code charts>

Apostrophe (Greek ἀποστροφή, apostrophé, turning away; the final e being sounded) is an exclamatory rhetorical figure of speech, when a speaker or writer breaks off and directs speech to an imaginary person or abstract quality or idea. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... October 26 is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Bibliography

Lynne Truss is a British writer and journalist. ... Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is a short non-fiction book written by Lynne Truss, the former host of the BBCs Cutting a Dash radio programme. ...

See also

This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Possessive case is a case that exists in some languages used for possession. ... In music, see elision (music). ... Contraction can mean: Contraction (childbirth), a contraction during childbirth; Contraction (linguistics), a new word formed from two or more individual words; Contraction (science), one that can occur to solid matter as it cools; Contraction mapping, in mathematics, a type of function on a metric space; Muscle contraction, one that occurs...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Apostrophe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3910 words)
The apostrophe (&#160;’ ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritic mark, in languages written in the Latin alphabet.
In Jèrriais, one of the uses of the apostrophe is to mark gemination, or consonant length.
The vertical typewriter apostrophe ( ' ) is often used to approximate the prime ( ′ ;) (used as a symbol to indicate measurement in feet or arcminutes); the right single quotation mark apostrophe is less appropriate in this context.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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